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!