December 19, 2011

Why Christmas with snow is the real Christmas

Hey Cardinal fans,

The holiday season is upon us, and the team is extremely excited to go home to celebrate with their families. As you all know, our team is from all over the country: Illinois, California, Texas, and D.C. just to name a few. We constantly debate over which coast or area is the best, but there is no question as to which part of the U.S. really has the Christmas spirit. Therefore, I present you with the…

Top Ten Reasons Why Christmas With Snow Is The Real Christmas:

10) There is a huge difference between wearing Uggs and a fashionable scarf to face the 50 degree Christmas weather versus wearing water proof boots and extremely stylish puffy snow pants to trek through the holiday snow.

9) Decorative reindeer made out of lights don't look like deer without the presence of snow to set the scene.

8) Christmas lights look most appropriate wrapped around bare tree branches and shining through a thin layer of snow, not adorning palm trees.

7) One can only build a legitimate snowman out of actual snow. Building a “snowman” out of sand just does not count.

6) There is nothing like having a snow day to set the mood for the Christmas season. It just gives you more time to enjoy a long nap, drink some delicious coffee, and do some holiday tie-dying by the fire.

5) Nothing says “Welcome Home and Merry Christmas!” better than ridiculously long security lines and three hour flight delays at the airport due to snow.

4) Snow validates all the best Christmas songs. Here are a few of the many examples:

-“Dashing through the snow…” (“Jingle Bells”)

-“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” (“White Christmas”)

-“In the lane, snow is glistening…walking in a winter wonderland…” (“Winter Wonderland”)

-“Frosty the snowman knew the sun was hot that day, so he said, ‘Let’s run and we’ll have some fun now before I melt away…”’ (“Frosty the Snowman)

3) Nothing brings out your inner child more than the snowy Christmas season. There is no other time where catching snow flakes on your tongue or making snow angels for hours is 150% acceptable regardless of age.

2 )What would all the loving grandmothers and yiayias do if they did not need to knit mittens and hats to keep their little rascals warm?

1) Sibling disputes can only be truly settled with snow ball fights.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Go Card!


December 12, 2011

What's up with Alex

What’s up Stanford fans! If you do not already know, I am injured again . During practice I was pushing off my left foot to pass the basketball when I felt something pop. I tried to walk, but when I did not feel any support, I just fell to my knees and rolled to my back. I was just surprised because it felt like someone stepped on my heel! Long story short, I tore my Achilles tendon. Although I was not initially in pain, it started to hurt as Susan Borchardt carried me in her arms to the training room (Haha she is SUPER strong).

Luckily the injury came right before Thanksgiving break so I did not miss any school. Unfortunately, I missed travelling with my team and having Thanksgiving dinner with them. I did, however, get to spend the whole week with my parents, whom I have missed since I have been at Stanford.

Of course I was disappointed at the time because I was just returning from another injury, but I have had time to think about the positive side of this injury. Tara reminds me almost every week about Nneka’s quote of the day “Every disappointment is a blessing.” I constantly think about this quote because it reminds me that I have so much to look forward to and that there is no reason for me to dwell upon my injury.

Now, I am going to physical therapy three times a week and lifting upper body weights during practice. Susan works me hard during practice, but I know that her workouts are exactly what I need if I want to return to the court healthy and strong. She is an inspiration because she suffered from two knee injuries and she made an awesome comeback. Also, she was a great defender- she still is, but I love playing defense and I believe that if there is anyone that can help me come back to the court playing tenacious D, it will be her.

Lastly, I want to express how GREAT my teammates are in supporting me through my injury. They are so much fun to be around and they are HILARIOUS!! The first day I got my golf cart, Chiney asked me for ride-haha I did not even have it for one day, but it is all good because her bike needed to be repaired. Also, my teammates have given me a lot of good advice about keeping a positive attitude and being the best cheerer on the sideline. Boothe talked to me about how it is important to stay mentally strong and to work hard during rehab. I know that I have the best teammates in the world and I am so lucky to be a member of this team.

** I want to give a shout-out to my J-RO corner support!! They helped me out in the dorm and at the dining halls!!

All right, talk to you later!


December 2, 2011


Hello friends!

I am so excited to write my second blog ever for the lovely fans of SWB! It feels great to be a sophomore! No more freshman bloopers. No more getting lost and calling Nneka. No more pesky pranks pulled by the upperclassmen. Life is good!

This is a really special year! Each day is a challenge and opportunity to become better, on and off the court. Our team is young, passionate, and energetic. One of the beautiful things about this year's squad is that everyday we learn a lot about ourselves. I am so proud of our six freshman! They have undergone one of the most "memorable" summers and have stepped up in all our games this year. Here is my personal take on each of my little sisters... Amber is a very quiet person but don't be confused, she can hit a mean dougie (dance)! Bonnie, also known as Bonaldine, can only be described in one word: quirky. Erica and Nneka share the exact same personality. Jasmine may be small but she carries some big bags diva-liciously. Taylor speaks only one language: sarcasm. And it is impossible to be mad at Alex, no matter how hard you try.

With so many freshmen, our team atmosphere is light and fun. We have let loose (as you can tell through our web series "The Real Ladies of Maples.") We are full of emotions. And we stamp every moment. So to keep you in the loop, I will fill you in on some of our hot catch phrases for the year:

#AYE - This is said anytime our team gets hyped. Anything from an and-one to a good grade on a test.
#Nerds - Said when we want to remind people that we are also STUDENT-athletes with a high dosage of swagger.
#Swag - The latest version of the word cool. (Usually accompanied with the cooking dance, which actually mimics cooking.)
#WeDoIt - We may or may not know what we are going to do, but as a team it will get done!
#Sisterhood - The best thing we have being a part of Stanford basketball.

We are pumped for another great year of Cardinal basketball! Glad you are joining us on the ride!

Until we meet again,
Chiney #13

November 16, 2011

The Freshmen Inside Scoop!

Hey Cardinal Fans!!! Here I am for my first team blog. Today I’m going to be giving you guys the inside scoop on how my fellow freshmen and myself have experienced the start of the season.

The rest of the “Six Pack,” as apparently we have been dubbed, and I have been extremely excited for games to begin, and we’re so happy to finally get our first exhibition games under our belt. It was an amazing experience for us all, and I think we all had quite a bit of adrenaline running through our veins when we stepped out onto Maples court for the first time in our game uniforms. To tell the truth though, the coaches could not have prepared us any better because I felt completely at ease as we ran through our offenses and played our defense against UC San Diego and Vanguard. All of the practices and hard work over the summer had led us to this moment, and although I know there is a long way to go, I felt a great sense of pride and belonging as I put on my uniform and went to battle with my team. Then, this weekend was extremely exciting as we got 2 more wins against Texas and Gonzaga to really put our season off to a great start!

On another note, our upperclassmen are literally like our watchful and helpful parents. Nneka tends to call us the “babies” of the team, and they have all been so helpful and supportive as we continue to struggle through learning new things every day. I know this is a huge job for them and that they go out of their way to help us because we are quite a big class!! I am extremely grateful and appreciative to find myself on such a close team that is really more like a family.

Each of us freshman brings something special to the team, and it will be exciting to see how each of us grow and mature as the season goes on. I am so happy to get to spend time with my 5 fellow freshmen for the next 4 years.

Amber is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and when she and Alex get together, they can be quite the comedians! Fun fact: she has dimples!!

Now Alex may seem quiet at first, but don’t let her fool you! She is actually extremely outgoing and has a great sense of humor. Fun Fact: Her favorite singer is Alicia Keys.

Taylor also has a great sense of humor and is a big fan of Chris Farley. Fun Fact: She absolutely loves Yogurt Land. Jasmine is a ball of energy and loves listening to her music. Fun Fact: She loves to dance.

Erica is an awesome friend and is very generous to always let us hang out in her room. We call her room the “rendezvous point.” Fun Fact: She is a huge Harry Potter fan.

And lastly, I am constantly singing, even though I may not be able to carry a tune, and I am also a huge Harry Potter fan. Fun Fact: I love to quote random movie lines and SNL skits. Name that skit: “I gotta fever, and the only prescription…is more cowbell!!”

I hope you enjoyed my blog, and I hope you enjoy watching the “Six-Pack” grow and develop throughout the season.

Go Card!!!

November 8, 2011

Welcome Back!

Hello Cardinal Fans!

The start of the 2011-2012 Stanford Basketball Season is upon us!! I hope everyone is as geared up and ready as we are! Like all years, our team has very high expectations for this season, but unlike past seasons we are going to have a little different style and flavor that I know you all will enjoy!

Our “Six Pack” of freshman are doing great! Each one of them has made huge strides since our first day together and it’s incredible how quickly they have adjusted to some of the major changes from high school to college. The rest of the team has been great leaders for them and everyone is truly doing their part.

It’s hard to believe it’s my senior year! Seems like a couple months ago I was a youngun’ still learning the system. Nneka, Grace, Sarah, and I are putting in extra work and time to make sure this year is one that we will never forget! We each have embraced our leadership roles and we know that it is up to us to set the tone for our team and the season.

Our first two exhibition games were really fun and it was awesome to see everyone get out there and get some experience. But now we are ready for the real deal! Our first weekend of games is not going to be an easy one. It will test the will and grit of our team and I am excited for that. I hope to see everyone at the games all season long cheering and screaming your heads off! We really appreciate your support and it is definitely a lot exciting to play in front of a rowdy crowd! Keep up all the good work you guys are doing and I will make sure that the team is doing the same!

See you in the gym! GO CARD!

Lindy La Rocque #15

March 8, 2011

Thanks from Kayla

Hey Cardinal Fans!

Hopefully you guys know a little bit about the team and coaches so I’m going to take this opportunity to recognize those in this program that don’t get the attention or recognition that they deserve.

First are our practice players. These guys come to practice everyday just to play defense for the majority of the time and they have to memorize all of our scouting reports. So thanks to Paul, Austin, Brian, Chris, Leo, Ben, Sam, and those that have played in the past. Also, a special shout-out goes to the two guys that I always go against, Greg and Ilan.

Next are our managers. They do all of the dirty work, literally. They record stats, line the court, run the clock, get us water, do the laundry, decorate our lockers, help with marketing, and most importantly they play the role of team mom. So thanks to Jen and the two managers that have been part of the team longer than most of our players have, Kerry and Dorothy.

More thanks go to: Marcella, Dr. Lambert, and Dr. Safran who keep us healthy and ready to go. Lauren and Sha’rae, the two coolest interns who do the video editing, stats, and filming of all of our practices. Sarah Boruta, the most efficient video coordinator and community service organizer I’ve seen. Devan, our strength and conditioning coach, who keeps the team going physically and mentally. This guy is the real deal and he always makes sure that we give it our all no matter what we feel like. Aaron, our media guy that makes sure we are represented well and does any necessary damage control. Bud, our video guy that makes all of the promos and commercials. DeeDee, who plans all of our trips and takes care of basically everything. She’s always been there for the team and we can call her when we need help with anything. Eileen, who does the scheduling and all of the big basketball operation tasks. Ish, Freddie, Kevin, and Jimmy who fill our stomachs with energy after ever practice and before every game. The Stehr family, who are my awesome scholarship donors that have been so supportive of me. And to those that have been part of this program for some time in my four years here, thanks!

And last but not least, I’d like to take this time to recognize YOU! Seriously, without your support and generosity, this team would be nowhere. All of our fans have stayed faithful to our team through all of the ups and downs. You were there when we lost back-to-back against the LA schools my freshman year and you were there cheering us on at the Final Four every year. So thank you. It truly means more than you know and you are appreciated more than ever. I’ll always remember walking off of the bus after losing in the championship game last year, trying to hold back tears not because we had lost, but because you had waited for us at our hotel to cheer us on. At that moment, you made the team feel loved and that our hard work was not put to waste because of the result of one night.

Alright, now that I’m done with all of that mushy stuff, it’s crunch time. March Madness is here and the seniors have one last shot to bring a championship back to the Bay. I guarantee that you have invested your support in a special team.

With love and gratitude,

March 1, 2011

Conspiracy against the Big Man or in this case the Big Woman

Hello everyone. For my blog this year I would like to discuss a serious issue that plagues women’s basketball. It is the issue of fouls.

In the game every team member gets 5 fouls. These are usually personal fouls (rather than technical or flagrant fouls). According to Wikipedia a personal foul is “a player’s contact foul with an opponent, whether the ball is live or dead. A player shall not hold, block, push, charge, trip or impede the progress of an opponent by extending his/her hand, arm, elbow, shoulder, hip, leg, knee or foot, nor by bending his/her body into an 'abnormal' position (outside his cylinder), nor shall he/she indulge in any rough or violent play.”

No ... enough with the information about what are fouls. My concern is who the fouls are being called on. I have developed a conspiracy theory over the years that referees have formed together to target the team's “bigs” or posts and call fouls on them. The “bigs” would usually be the team’s center. Ever since I began playing the beautiful sport of basketball, I have observed how refs usually are quick to call a foul on a “big” rather than a guard. I will admit that I am usually at the receiving end of those calls. And while some of those may be actual fouls, I think that it is all part of this conspiracy theory.

To support this theory I went on some of the other Pac 10 teams websites to see which players receive the most personal fouls. On our team Chiney leads the way with 66, I follow with 57, and Nneka comes next with 46 fouls. Note that we are all “bigs.” On UCLA Dixon, their “big”, leads the team with 72 fouls. On USC, LaPlante leads the team with 77 fouls. On Oregon State Greer has 86 and on Oregon Canepa has 68. I didn’t have time to get the stats on the rest of the teams in the Pac 10, but if I were to, I would guess that their bigs would be the ones leading their team in fouls. These stats offer interesting findings in support of my conspiracy theory that refs target “bigs” with fouls.

I would like to note that this blog is in no way meant to rag our Pac 10 refs — it is merely something that I have observed in my 10 or so years of playing basketball. And this conspiracy theory does not only pertain to women’s college basketball. It is a conspiracy at all levels in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Thank you for reading and for your support! Have a great day!
Sarah Boothe

February 14, 2011

The Team Behind the Team

Hey ya'll!

I am so excited to do my first blog for all our Stanford supporters! So far, I have had a fabulous freshman experience. Every day, I wake up in awe of all the beauty of Stanford University, feeling so blessed to be a student-athlete at one of the best schools in the world. Being a part of the Stanford Women's Basketball Team has been a remarkable experience for me as well. Learning from Tara and sharing so many moments with the team has only made my love for the sport grow!

But behind all of our success is a group of people you may NOT be very familiar with. They come early. They stay late. They always make the extra pass. They execute. They defend. They always rock the Cardinal Red. THEY ARE OUR PRACTICE PLAYERS! This blog is dedicated to a fine group of men that sacrifice their personal time to help make us better. We love our practice players, and you will come to adore them too! This is the inside-scoop on The Team Behind the Team!

Meet Ilan Kolkowitz
Inner-Hooper: Steve Nash
Ilan is the steady foundation for this year's practice squad. When Ilan gets in the rhythm from long range, he can be deadly. He is very fundamental, and makes few mistakes. We love Ilan because he is dependable, always there when we need him.

Meet “Little” Greg Klausner
Inner-Hooper: Deron Williams
The Nickname Little Greg came from him being smaller than a previous practice player also named Greg. Don't be fooled by Greg's strong build. He has a quick first step and a powerful finish. We love Greg because he smiles even when we're struggling, keeping the positive energy.

Meet Leo Wilson
Inner-Hooper: Rajon Rondo
Leo is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. But when he steps on the court he heads a ferocious defense: the best on ball defender. And if you blink, he probably is already laying the ball up for 2 on the other end. We love Leo because he has a huge heart for us and the game.

Meet Paul Ockelmann
Inner-Hooper: Luis Scola
Paul is a versatile role player. Tell Paul where he needs to be and he is there. Paul is a crafty finisher around the rim and active on both ends of the court. We love Paul because he keeps things interesting.

Meet Chris Trader
Inner-Hooper: Paul Pierce
Chris is a solid wing with a lot of talent. Shake and bake to fade-a-way, he's got it all in his arsenal. If you fall asleep on Chris, he will make a fool out of you. We love Chris because his personality makes everything more fun.

Meet Brian Hollins
Inner-Hooper: Blake Griffin
Brian may be the new kid on the block, but his game has made a huge impression on our team. His athleticism is out of this world. He soars high for rebounds and sprints like a track-star. We love Brian because he is beautiful inside and out.

Meet the Austins: Austin Link and Austin Guzman
Inner-Hooper: Paul Gasol
The Austins are a dangerous post duo on the block. Their size and power make it easy to muscle their way in the paint and on the boards. You might think your shot is safe until you enter their “danger zone” a.k.a. anything within arms reach. We love our Austins because they never complain even when when the game gets rough.

Meet Sam “Lefty” Shapiro
Inner-Hooper: Manu Ginobli
Even though we have just gotten to know Sam, it doesn't take much time to realize he is a sharp-shooter from anywhere on the court. Once he let's the shot fly, its usually nothing but net. We love Sam because he's got a great shooter's mentality!

Meet Ben Halpern
Inner-Hooper: Kevin Love
Ben may be soft spoken, but his game is extra loud! As an undersized post, Ben uses a variety of ways to make scoring inside look effortless. We love Ben because he never gets down, always trying motivate us to work harder and get better.

So next time we play at Maples, make sure you give a pat on the back to our fabulous practice players! We love you guys!

Talk soon!
Chiney #13

February 10, 2011

What Hannah did on her summer vacation

This past summer I had the opportunity to gain field research experience in the tropical dry forests of Mexico. It was an incredibly unique experience that allowed me to not only learn from local scientists and students but to expand my knowledge of the Mexican culture and language as well. The majority of my time was spent at the Chamela Biological Station doing research on tree growth and species interactions.

While staying at the station I met many students from all over Mexico working on various projects. On days off we would pile into one of the station’s cars and head straight to the beach. Playa Negritos was the name of the closest and it was absolutely breathtaking.

I was able to snorkel and practice my Spanish accent with some of my new friends. It’s really amazing how even with a language barrier you can still really get to know and care about people. Of course there’s bound to be a lot of funny things said when you aren’t fluent in a language. Many times I would find myself laughing until my eyes started watering at a joke I misunderstood or just took in a totally ridiculous way. I was surprised at how open and willing to help everyone I met at the station was, despite my terrible accent (which is a little better now).

I spent on average about 8-9 hours a day working. The majority was out in the field hiking to different tree plots, documenting new growth as well as performing leaf counts and other herbivory measures. I also helped plant new seedling plots for further study as well as take images of the current canopy cover in existing plots. There are several trails that lead through the forests of Chamela. We would use them to find flagged trees and measure growth.

The main species interaction I looked at was how ants defend trees against herbivory from insects like caterpillars. One of the most interesting things we did was to stage ant versus caterpillar fights. We would place a caterpillar on a leaf and see how long it took before the ants attacking would cause the caterpillar to stop eating and fall off the leaf. This was one of the ways we measured ant aggressiveness. The general idea is the tree provides shelter for the ants while the ants in turn defend the leaves from herbivory allowing increased tree growth.

After a long day spent in the field, I would often run through trails to get a little conditioning in. My favorite days were when it would rain. There were some amazing storms that shook our rooms and lit the sky with flashes of lightning. The rain was always a nice break from the usual hot days and nights. One memorable night in particular a bunch of us students watched a movie (in Spanish of course) in the library and by the time we made it back to our rooms we were completely drenched from head to toe.

The awesome thing is that after a big rain, the forest almost blooms overnight with new leaves. The best view was from climbing to the top of the water tower and looking out. On a clear day you could see the ocean and by the time I was headed home all you could see was green for miles and miles.

The big picture take away of this experience for me was in conservation. Intricate species interactions are only possible for the most part in intact regions of the forest. In Mexico, these forests are in constant danger of being developed, especially due to their proximity to beaches. I don’t think the tropical dry forest is an ecosystem I will continue to study, but I will definitely take away lessons in research methods and analysis. The work I did was exhausting at times, but overall it was an experience that I will never forget.

January 24, 2011

Stanford Basketball gets glamorous, lazy, and studious!

What’s up ya’ll??

I’m back again with my annual team blog tidbit! I am sure you all will be very upset to hear that, no I will not talk about my wonderful home state of Montana this year… but don’t worry!!… I think you will be happy to hear about what it is that makes us the beautiful women we are OFF the court. Yes, we love being recognized as the great Stanford Ballers, but that doesn’t consume our entire lives…well for the most part.

So what I’m getting at is what it is we do on that oh so special and wonderful DAY OFF!!!

This day I speak of is probably the most cherished and valued day of the week for our team, other than the days of a big game of course! But because all of us work extremely hard each day, whether it is at practice or in the classroom, we look forward to that one-day to catch up in our lives and also take full advantage of that precious time we normally don’t see everyday.

A typical day off varies for different people, so I will talk about those different spent days and what makes each of us unique.

First, I will start with yours truly, and how I love to spend my day off. Unfortunately I don’t ever get to sleep in because of class (unless it is Sunday), so I start off my day by…CLEANING! My mother is so proud of me that it finally took me moving away on my own to figure out the importance of cleaning and organizing! I tend to be a neat freak, so a clean and good smelling room is what does it for me!

Now after I feel organized and ready for the day, I like to pamper myself a little bit. In this “pampered” or “glamorizing” group, you would find Jeanette, Grace, Kerry the manager, sometimes Lu Lu and myself, either getting our nails done, laying out and working on the tan, or if you are like Kerry and me, you would totally be at the movies seeing what the new hot flicks are. As for the shoppers on the team, you can find Nneka and Chiney aka sista sista heading out on the town to find some cute new outfits.

Although, the day goes by way too fast, fun and games isn’t everything. There is the part where we need to tend to our studies and academics, because well…we go to Stanford! Everyone is very intelligent in their own way, but some are very serious about their work and love to spend that great day off by catching up with school or working problem sets etc. I always see Boothe running in and out of labs, hear about Kayla acing every test she takes, or constantly talk to Hannah about what Earth Systems test or homework she needs to do.

The “chill” group I’d like to call them, would be those of us who simply like to hang out and enjoy their free time either by themselves or with others passing the time by catching up on all their missed TV shows of the previous week. The laid back “cool” people in this group would be Ashley C, Mikaela Ruef, Sara James, Mel and Toni. Hardly do I ever see these wonderful gals on our day off because they like to do their own thing, which is great!

Now you know a little bit more about what we do off the basketball court, and how some of us spend those wonderful 24 hours of freedom. Please don’t get me wrong, each and every one of us loves what we do, and that is to play the sport we enjoy playing in front of all you great people. We love being around each other all the time and working hard every day for one another. All I am saying is… Who doesn’t love a day off to relax and enjoy a break from our busy lives?

Thanks for all your support and take care!

Tara talks about streaks

It was easy for me to decide what to write about – STREAKS! It seems that on every sports broadcast or newspaper article over the past couple of months there has been a reference to some streak. We had the Brett Favre streak, the Penn State women’s volleyball streak and the one we all watched with intense interest — the UConn women’s basketball streak that set the NCAA basketball record.

As the UConn women’s team got closer to setting the NCAA record, just mentioning the streak wasn’t enough. The streak had to be analyzed and compared to other streaks. Was the UConn basketball streak as good as the UCLA men’s? All of this chatter by the media got me thinking about my thoughts on streaks.

Streaks get so much attention because they are extraordinary. I am so impressed with these streaks because in order to have continued excellence an individual or team has to be consistent. This is one of life’s biggest challenges. To be able to “bring it” every day it takes incredible discipline and focus.

As a basketball coach I am in awe and applaud the 90-game UConn win streak. People have asked me if the streak was good for women’s basketball and I say, “Yes.”

Our game was sold out with scalpers. The energy in Maples Pavilion was electric. The crowd was loud and very enthusiastic. Many people were there to watch women’s basketball for the first time. People since have stopped me in the grocery store, walking my dog or in hotels and airports to tell me how much they enjoyed being there or watching on TV that night.

The attention that it brought to the women’s game was great! The television ratings were the highest of any regular season women’s basketball game. Each local news affiliates ran highlights as the lead story, as did ESPN. A women’s basketball score was shown on CNN!

Right after the game I had 67 text messages and over 300 emails. The fun thing for me was hearing from so many former players, friends and basketball fans! One email was from Bob Lewis, a retired coach who coached the boys at Milne HS in Albany, NY. This was where I went to school 7-10th grade. Since there were not teams for girls, I was the boys' team mascot for a short time (I got fired for watching the games instead of leading cheers). In my freshman yearbook Coach Lewis wrote “to the best basketball player in the 9th grade – boy or girl”. I have never forgotten that. I wrote back to Coach Lewis – “look how far women’s basketball has come!”

We are so fortunate to be part of an exciting time in women’s basketball. We each have an opportunity to be part of a streak! The streak I want to keep alive is that each day I go to the gym for practice or games positive, prepared, enthusiastic and appreciative. I want our team and staff to know how special they are and how much I enjoy working with them. Each day I want to keep the streak going and if for some reason the streak is broken I redouble my efforts the next day and start a new one!

January 19, 2011

The Power of the Pony

Hello Cardinal Fans,

Today, my blog is going to be about my recent change in game-day hairstyle that many of you have been inquiring about. As you probably know, the last two seasons I sported the “messy bun” on most all game days. The bun was kind of my trademark since high school and I would spend plenty of time before games making sure it would look perfect. Then of course, during games it often came loose and would flop around while I ran the court and my little baby hairs around my face would curl up and go crazy. My messy bun was great! It’s all I ever really knew, it was like my security blanket and it never failed me.

At the beginning of every summer I normally get a haircut and take off a lot of length in my hair so it’s cooler and lighter for the summer. However, this summer I had a change of heart and decided to grow my hair out instead. Although it can sometimes be a pain to brush and the fact that I use so much more shampoo and conditioner isn’t great, I truly came to really love my long hair. Besides going to school and playing basketball, I also really enjoy doing activities that give back to the community. So in light of my hair growing long, at the beginning of this school year I decided that after basketball season I am going to cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love.

Now with all that being said, it brings me to my new game-day hairstyle — The Pony!

Once my hair got past a certain length this past summer, it was very clear to me that it did not like being tied up in a messy bun, mainly for the fact that I would need like 5 hair ties and sometimes that wouldn’t even work. Consequently, I was forced to go outside my comfort zone and wear a regular pony. At first, I was very nervous. I was so used to seeing my messy bun that I thought a regular pony looked funny on me. Since there was nothing else I could really do, the pony inevitably grew on me.

Now, a couple months later, my pony is my new best friend and I love it. It also doesn’t hurt that I have gotten some really good feedback from family and friends saying that it’s pretty and it makes me look faster and more agile. Hopefully you all think so too! Coach has yet to say the latter, but I like to think that she agrees.

Anyway, the pony is here to stay!!

Go Card! -LuLu

January 10, 2011

Mel's final blog

If you read my blog last year you probably thought it would be my last one. Well here’s some news for you: I thought so too. But this year there is no mistaking it, this is my fifth and FINAL year.

One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that Stanford fans are probably some of the best fans ever. Through thick and thin, Stanford fans always have your back, and are some of the only fans that ACTUALLY care about the players. So here I am, an injured fifth year senior, and many of you have still shown that you care about me. Even more of you have asked about my plans aside from basketball and what I would like to do after I get my Stanford degree. To be completely honest, I have no idea what the future has in store for me (I guess nobody does) but I can let you in on what I’ve been doing lately.

As many of you already know, Candice Wiggins came back to the farm this past fall to finish up her degree. In this time I became Candice’s manager.

So what does this really mean?

If you have had the pleasure to meet Candice in person, you have most likely come to the realization that Candice truly has “something special”; something that has the power to transcend the world of basketball.

My job is to showcase that “something special” to the world. To do this, I have worked on a number of projects. She has gotten the opportunity to write for SlamOnline, and we have also put together a website. The website compiles all of her social media, gives you “behind the scenes” videos, and even allows you to chat with her live! The catalyst behind the site is Candice’s desire to allow her fans to get as close to her as possible without actually being there; to take a step into her world so to speak, thus creating

Although digital technology has come a long way, it can only take us so far. That is why I am most proud of our latest project, “The Candice Wiggins Overseas Experience – Spain 2011”.

Why does this make me so excited? It’s simple really. Think about the Stanford players we have grown to know and love, such as Brooke Smith, Kristen Newlin, and Jillian Harmon. After their time at Stanford, they all became lost at sea, so to speak, never to be heard from again.

Candice recognized this, and so she wants to give fans the opportunity to come with her. She wants to allow them to experience not only the beauty of Spain, but the beauty of Spain with an insider look into what playing professionally overseas is really like. We have worked extremely hard to put together a trip that is the first of its kind and the only one like it; a trip that brings the fans closer than ever, giving them the opportunity to travel and learn with Candice Wiggins. (

January 5, 2011

Toni's New Year Resolutions

It’s coming to the end of another magnificent holiday season. After successfully convincing my family that they should not come to California for Christmas, I was able to spend a few fabulous days in sweet home Chicago. Nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit more than the cold Chicago air and the black ice. A white Christmas is very necessary in my mind. Otherwise Christmas just would not be the same. After getting a fill of delicious home-cooked meals and family bonding time, Christmas was a huge success. Everyone will be glad to know that my wardrobe of tie dye and peace sign clothing has yet again increased!

After the joyous Christmas season, it was time for New Years! And honestly what better way to ring in the new year than by beating UConn!!!! I’d definitely like to send a thank you to our absolutely amazing fans who brought Maples to life for the game!

Anyway, the real highlight of New Years is making those life transforming resolutions, which we all know are fulfilled 100% of the I wish you the best of luck with your goals for 2011!

Here are a few of mine...

6) Skype with my siblings more
5) Go green-er: separate recyclables in dorm room
4) Talk louder: practice diaphragm exercises in mirror nightly before going to bed to help project voice
3) Expand Stanford basketball wardrobe for the new year—I’m thinking tie dye issued team apparel is in order
2) Always have hands active. ALWAYS. Practice in all aspects of life—eat finger food, use sign language, wave obnoxiously at random people.
1) Never ever ever turn the ball over—this is extremely important to the health of our team...Tara is allergic to turnovers

Special shout out to Coach Tara VanDerveer. Congratulations on your 800th win!

See you in the stands!