March 24, 2010

Tournament Time

Ah, the smell of March Madness. This time of year reminds me of watching the games with my dad when I was little and hearing the screams of my brother from upstairs when the buzzer beater would fall to create a huge upset game. It is crazy to think that some other little girl is now watching our team in the tournament with her dad, wishing that someday that could be her on the court fighting for a national championship.

Our team has come so far this year. We have dealt with injuries, battles on the court and a hard schedule. In my eyes though, we have thrived in this madness. We have never backed down from a challenge. This became really apparent to me when we came back from Christmas break after playing the team that shall not be named, and went into a slump for about a month. Our team was faced with the chance to either continue on that downward slump or rise up above it and start to build our energy towards the tournament. We clearly chose the latter. Our team changed our energy, and changed our focus to Stanford Basketball. What we can do, and what we can accomplish rather than the other team. To me, we are peaking at just the right time with this new energy and focus: Tournament Time.

The last part of the season is when the team is the closest in all aspects. Everyone is fighting for one more game, one more practice, and yes one more bike workout. It is scary to think that every game we play now may be the last time the 2009-2010 team puts on a Stanford jersey and all that it represents before the game. That thought only encourages us more to get on the floor, be scrappy, do whatever it takes to advance. Because just as I was told when I was a little girl watching on TV, as I am now a woman playing on the TV, you must SURVIVE TO ADVANCE.


March 15, 2010

March Madness!!

Hey Card Nation,

It is that time in the year…March Madness!! Since I was young, my family and friends have had an avid interest in all the exciting games and teams that emerge during this month. In middle school and high school my eyes stayed glued to the TV listening to analysts, looking at brackets and watching all the madness unfold. Last year our team was able to partake in all of the fun, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. While last year’s team was special and unique and we had a great season, the feeling this year is a little different.

This year, as most of you know, we were fortunate to start our season earlier then usual with a wonderful trip to Italy. Once back on campus we already felt bonded and ready for a great season, the addition of our two freshmen just made our team that much better. Through grueling pre season workouts, tedious practices, lengthy road trips, and extreme dedication and commitment our team knows we’re ready for all of the challenges ahead in March. This team does everything with and for each other, and we believe deeply in one another. We’re all so excited for what lies ahead and we know with all your great support, one day at a time, we can continue working hard to reach our goals.

See you in the stands, let’s go Card!!


March 6, 2010

The Sandra Bullock of Stanford women's basketball

Great teams (aka. Stanford) are teams with great role players. Some of those role players have the job of going into the games and scoring the big points, grabbing the big rebounds, or stopping the top player on the other team. Other role players may just need to make that extra pass, get that single steal, or just give another player a quick breather.

This year, however, my role does not include any of these. My role, I would like to say, is comparable to that of an actress. I would like to think of myself as the Sandra Bullock of the Stanford women’s basketball team.

Like Sandra Bullock, I must take on a variety of roles. I must “act” like a member of the opposing team. For instance, when we played and beat Tennessee I had to take on the role of Kelly Cain. The week preceding the game, I was given my script (scouting report) in which I then had to learn my lines (Kelly Cain’s post moves and Tennessee’s offense). Then during practice (rehearsal) I had to execute the script.

Like Sandra Bullock, some roles are easier to execute than others, some are more convincing than others, and in some I must take on the role of two people at one time. For example, in preparation for the Oregon game, I took on the role of both Nicole Canepa and Victoria Kenyon. In the post I was Canepa, but on the perimeter I was Kenyon.

Hopefully all these performances will earn the team an Academy Award or, in basketball terms, a National Championship.


March 2, 2010

What makes Mel ... Mel

In my past three Stanford blogs I have done a great job at making them extremely ME oriented. I have taken you wonderful fans on a journey of my life that consisted of not only words, but video too. In my final entry I would like to take you behind the scenes and show you what makes Mel…well, Mel. In this entry I can’t think of anyone or anything that makes me more of who I am than my parents.

For all of you who were at senior day for our final home game and was able to meet my mother, may have picked up on the fact that we talk exactly alike. I honestly was not aware of this fact until afterwards when my teammates told me that if they closed their eyes it sounded like me telling a story about myself. My mom has always been there for me. I can remember her teaching me to ride a bike when I was four-years-old and comforting me when I thought the adults in the park were laughing at me and not with me. She also taught me how to dribble a basketball in our very own kitchen (something I later learned most mothers wouldn’t allow) and would constantly play me one on one in the backyard.

Speaking of the backyard, the backyard was a place where my dad would rebound hundreds and thousands of lay-ups. He taught me to hit the top of the square, the correct footwork, and made me use my left hand on the left side. I learned to love the lay-up and I truly believe that because of my dad I am the driving point guard that I am today. I didn’t start off as a point guard though. Although I despise post players, in my beginning years I enjoyed blocking shots at the center position. Thankfully my dad got me to give up that position, informing me that great players wanted the ball and where I really wanted to be was at the point guard spot. Thank the lord for that; Stanford would really struggle if they had me as their 5’8 center hahaha.

Although basketball grew to be a large part of my life, my parents always supported me in anything that I wanted to try. And believe me I tried everything. I did tae-kwon-do, soccer, ballet, runway modeling, singing, swim lessons, gymnastics, tap dancing, fishing, I pretty much wanted to try anything that looked cool on TV. I was also interested in money at a very young age so my dad took me to an investment seminar that lasted for hours but it was something that I truly enjoyed.

All in all I want to thank both of my parents Rochelle and Joseph Murphy (my mom would kill me if I didn’t mention them by name haha) for doing all that they possibly could to make me the person I am today. I am extremely grateful. I would also like to give my sister a special shout out for always being someone who could relate to me on a kid level. Thanks for sparring with me even though you never took tae-kwon-do, thanks for playing me one on one in our mini hoop in the kitchen.

P.S. another thanks to the TV personalities in which I get my sense of humor as well as other personalities

- Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, Cosmo Kramer, Doug Heffernan, TJ Detweiler, Ashley Spinelli, Francis “the Hustler kid”, Bart Simpson, Brain – from Pinky and the Brain, Katt Williams, Stewey Griffin …..if I forgot anybody I’m sorry.