November 25, 2010

Why 3 really is the magic number…

I have decided to write my blog this year about my favorite number in the entire world. I hope that by explaining why I love the number so much, I will help you understand my infatuation with the number 3, and hopefully find a small place in your heart for my favorite number.

It all started when I was in 2nd grade after I made the 3rd grade select basketball team. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Now back in the day, we didn’t buy brand new jerseys every year, instead we picked out jerseys that were our size, and then we returned them at the end of the year to be reused. At the time, since my birthday is October 20th, my favorite number was 20, so naturally I wanted to be 20 and I fully intended on getting the #20 jersey. When it was my turn to choose I saw the #20 jersey but it had some rips in it, and the seams were coming undone from use over the years. The rips in the jersey were miniscule and nothing my mom couldn’t sew up very quick, but I didn’t want a beat up old jersey to play in on my very first select basketball team, so on a whim I opted for a much newer looking jersey without any rips or flaws. It just so happened that this jersey was the #3 jersey. Little did I know at the time, but that was the beginning of my obsession with 3. After that day I started seeing signs in my life that made feel fall deeper and deeper in love with the number.

The first thing I remember was watching schoolhouse rock in school. We watched the one about numbers, and when they got to 3, they sang a song called “3 is the magic number”. Now I listen to the song on repeat on my ipod and think about everything that has to do with this magic number. I feel it’s best just to list everything that I have thought about after years of listening to the song. These are random things I think about and yes; I know I am a huge weirdo (Notice: I’ve made a list of 12 which of course is 3 multiplied by 4).
  • We live in a 3D world
  • It take 3 points to make a plane (in geometry)
  • There are 3 vague time periods that people refer to (past, present, future)
  • In fairy tales characters always get 3 wishes
  • There are lots of religious things that have to do with the number including but not limited to the holy trinity, and the fact that Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days.
  • It takes 3 legs to make a table stand.
  • 2 is just a couple, but 3 is something completely different, 3 is a few.
  • 3 people make a family (a mom, a dad, and a baby).
  • The 3rd time is the charm.
  • You get 3 strikes before you’re out (and 3 outs per inning)
  • There are 3 children in my family
  • And last but certainly not least, our preseason ranking this year was 3

My teammates may call me weird for doing things in 3’s. They think it’s crazy that I count out the food I eat into groups of 3. They call me obsessive compulsive when I have to get up from the table to get another strawberry after someone eats one and throws off my numbers. They get annoyed when I insist on taking the 3rd seat (or a multiple of 3) when choosing a place to sit anywhere we go. They laugh at me when they see me park my bike in the 3rd spot of any bike rack I come across. They mock me when they hear me rationalize any of the stupid things I do because it involves #3.

I’m not obsessed with it, and I don’t have to do things in 3’s, I choose to. The number is a part of me, which is why I have chosen to wear #3 throughout my entire basketball career. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our preseason ranking is 3; it’s a sign that this is our year to win Stanford's 3rd national championship.


November 15, 2010

What Sara has learned at Stanford

I can't believe how fast these months have gone! I feel like it was just yesterday I was supposed to be signing that NLI (National Letter of Intent). From Toni and I going to Stanford camp before both our Junior and Senior years, to summer school, to moving in to dorms, to preseason, to now our first real game!

This is what we have been waiting for! But still, through all the stressful times trying to get to class or trying to keep up with practice at the beginning of the year, I am still in awe of this amazing place. I felt like I was in a dream running out on the court for the first time in the Vanguard game. Every step will be new experience for us freshman, but we are enjoying every minute of it. As Tara said to the three of us before the first game, "Never let the excitement of putting on that Stanford jersey go away."

These past few months at Stanford have been great, despite the many bike incidents I have had. Having the whole summer here to bond and play with the team was a huge key to our development as freshman.

But here are a few things I have learned so far:

  1. Don't lock only the wheel of your bike to the bike rack. You will come out of class with only a wheel.

  2. Jimmy V's is delicious.

  3. Keep an eye on your phone at all times. Do not expect people to return it.

  4. While riding your bike through intersections on campus, do not turn your head one direction for a long period of time. Someone is most likely coming from the other direction.

  5. Receiving mail has the power to make your day twice as good.

  6. Jimmy V's is delicious.

  7. Brunch in the dorms on the weekends is tasty as well.

  8. The Stanford Band is crazy, but awesome.

  9. And, our fans are the best!

See you at the games!

November 10, 2010

Lauren looks GOOD in RED

From Running Sprints to Timing Sprints
My Transition from Playing to Coaching

Wow, has my life has changed in the last five months. I went from playing my final collegiate basketball game at that school across the Bay (that would be Cal) to beginning my coaching internship at the very team that used to give us match-up nightmares!

Coaching has always been a career path that I envisioned for myself. I am passionate about basketball and love being part of a university. I have always played the game as if I were coaching – knowing how many fouls we have to give, who their worst free throw shooter is if we have to foul, etc – and I have a lot of ideas about game strategy and options. So why not coach and share my ideas with players who have to listen!!! (Just joking.)

So, as my final months of college passed by, I started looking for opportunities that would move me toward coaching. When Coach Tara offered me the opportunity to be part of the Cardinal team I was thrilled but I have to admit I also was a little nervous. Not only is she an amazing coach with national and world titles and a winning percentage to die for, but I would be jumping across the Bay to my “rival” school. I am proud to have graduated from Berkeley, had some amazing times playing there, and really appreciated the fan support. While I didn’t want to appear disloyal, I realized how amazing an opportunity it would be to learn from Tara and the whole coaching staff here. So, I started planning my move to Stanford.

And I couldn’t be happier with my decision – I am truly enjoying my time on the farm and learning a lot! Each of the coaches, players, and the fans that I have met so far has welcomed me into the Cardinal community with open arms, and that has been great. I have taken on many projects from working with Kate on recruiting mail-outs, to drawing up plays with Bobbie, to discussing coaching philosophies with Amy, to diagramming every LA Lakers' play with Tara. I have also learned more about computers, video, and all the 10,000 possible cords that might accompany each item from Miss Technology Sarah Boruta.

So, while it has been only two months since I officially moved to Palo Alto, it certainly feels like home – just with much better weather (from across the Bay and from home in Oregon). I have settled into a routine at the office and at my apartment, which I share with two Stanford graduate students. I even got them to come to our first exhibition game against Vanguard, which was their first women’s basketball game ever! And speaking of games, I can’t wait for the regular season to start and games to get tough. And while it is still hard for me to be watching our women play instead of playing myself, I have noticed, not surprisingly, that it has been quite easy for me to leave behind conditioning workouts and all those sprints!! Thank goodness that is over!

And for everyone wondering how it feels to be wearing red, I will just say that the high school I attended in Portland, Oregon was the Lincoln Cardinals (the bird) and our colors were red and white – so really I am just going back to my roots and getting another chance to wear all the red that was hiding in my closet for the last 4 years. And let’s be honest, I look GOOD in RED!

Lauren Greif

November 1, 2010

So eager to start!

Hi Cardinal Fans!

I hope you all had a great summer and are excited for the season to start!! I spent my summer back home in Maine, which was awesome. I rarely get to go home during the school year, so I try and take advantage of my time during the summer and spend as much time at home as possible. And summer in Maine is BEAUTIFUL! I always love spending time with my mom, and we took my sister down to school in Connecticut (don’t worry, not UConn. She’s a freshman at Connecticut College. Go Camels!). I also got the opportunity to practice with my brother’s high school basketball team for a few weeks, which was really fun. It was fun to be able to play with him, and it was also a great way to get ready for the season.

We are one week away from our first exhibition game, and the entire team can’t wait to get back on the court and play against another team instead of each other like we have been doing during the past few weeks of practice. All of us worked incredibly hard during the offseason, and practices started earlier this year, which gave us all a chance to get on the court earlier and get familiar with our plays and get our freshman up to speed. Chiney, Sara, and Toni have been doing a great job these past few weeks. They have really blended well with the returners, and they all bring something a little different to the team. I am so eager for our games to start, and start moving towards our goal of winning a National Championship. There would be no better way to end my senior year See you all in the stands!

Go Card!