December 27, 2012

What else we are

Hey Cardinal fans!

What a wonderful time of the year — Christmas is approaching, finals have ended, and our schedule is starting to get pretty exciting. We are on our way to South Carolina now, after a fun (and long) two weeks of practice, and then an awesome home game against Pacific on Saturday.

But traveling to all different parts of the country is one of the many exciting parts of spending our Christmas break together. We travel as a pack, whether it’s to the grocery store, or flying to the east coast, so you can imagine that a group of 6 feet and up women might draw some attention. As we are all sitting in the San Francisco airport wearing our fancy matching travel sweats, I can’t help but look at all the funny stares we get, and wonder what all these airport travelers must be thinking/ muttering to their family members as they walk by.

“Must be some kind of team,” we often hear, but probably the most regular is, “Wow, look how tall they all are!” And if we are in the Bay Area and they do know who we are, it’s usually just, “Hey, it’s Stanford Women’s Basketball!”

Don’t get me wrong, we all take tons of pride in the fact that we are on this team, and we are the players of Stanford Women’s Basketball, but I guess the point of this blog is to touch on each of the fifteen players individually — and give some insight on what else we are, outside of basketball players.

Let’s start out with the freshies: Denia, Kiran, Aly and Tess.

Denia is a Bay Area native who carries several nicknames such as Simba, Den, and my personal favorite: Denice. Denia has no idea what she wants to major in, but has thought of doing something in business or law for possible career choices. In her free time, she really likes to cook and to go running.

Kiran, on the other hand, is from Plano, Texas. Kiran enjoys practicing yoga, painting her nails, and indulging in chocolate. She is considering studying biology or human biology and maybe becoming an orthopaedic surgeon.

My dearest Aly would be pursuing her dream of speaking six languages: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Afrikaans, and Latin. When she is older and has kids, she plans to have a nanny that speaks all of these languages, so her kids can practice speaking a different language each day of the week.

Tess Picknell is from Medford Oregon, where there are beautiful red rocks, and would find herself practicing violin and reading Science Fiction books if she wasn’t playing basketball.

Next up we have the six-pack sophomores.

If Amber Orrange wasn’t actively playing basketball, she would be locked in to her video games. On our trips during breaks in school, she often brings her video games for breaks in the hotel room.

If Alex wasn’t playing basketball, she would be fulfilling her childhood dream of skateboarding. Nobody really knows where this dream of hers came from, but you should have seen the team’s response when she informed us of it. She’d also probably be studying and eating Snickers, because she studies A LOT and could survive off only eating candy.

Without Bonnie’s killer 3-point shot, she would be reading, and re-reading, all of the Harry Potter books. She considers herself a Hufflepuff, and I suspect she may actually be enrolled in Hogwarts. She also walks around campus randomly saying, “I’m a Hufflepuff!” (See this video:)

Bonnie also likes to watch movies and TV shows, some of which I consider to be a little odd — like Dance Moms and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, but to each her own.

Erica (E-Payne, P.G., E-Anna, Urrica) would be practicing to become a dancer, singer, and writer. She also is equally obsessed with Harry Potter, so would probably be reading with Bonnie in her down time, too.

Jasmine, (Jazzy or Jas), enjoys drawing in her spare time. So if she was not a basketball player, Jazzy would pursue her love of art.

Taylor, my roommate, would also be working to perfect her yoga practice. She likes to watch marathons of Grey’s Anatomy, and is an adamant shopper. Being her roommate, I will 100% confirm all of Taylor’s outside-of-basketball activities, but I sometimes worry that she actually believes she is a character in Grey’s Anatomy, and remind her that she is not yet a practicing doctor.

Next, the most important class: the Juniors.

Outside of basketball, Toni would still be extremely busy. She loves to draw, paint, and make anything. Toni and I share the same major, Human Biology, and she hopes to someday combine acupressure, muscle activation, and chiropractics all into one. She also loves to drink coffee and go to Fenton’s Creamery for their ice cream. Toni also insisted that I include her future plan of owning a super small home so she can spend all her money on going to concerts.

Chiney, another teammate who is from Texas, would be working towards becoming the President of the United States. She is always active in the community, but loves to spend quality time on all of social media sites, too. We have determined that Chiney has perfected the self-portrait, or what is otherwise known as, the “selfie.” She plans to be married to Blake Griffin or Chris Brown in a few years.

And finally, my beloved seniors.

If Mikaela, (Ruef or Mik), wasn’t playing basketball, she would be farming. Ruef dreams of someday owning her own farm, owning her own zoo, owning a great dane, and living on lots of land in the middle of Africa with all of the animals. These dreams may just be this month’s though, as she often thinks of another new and awesome thing to add to her future plans. I need to start keeping a list because I feel like I am the only one who hears about all of these off-the-wall dreams of hers.

If Jos wasn’t playing basketball, she would be “the modern day Meryl Streep.” This is a direct quote from Joslyn Tinkle, herself. Honestly, though, she really would be acting, dancing, singing, or something of that nature. She took Intro to Drama this past autumn quarter, and let’s just say the team also knew the lines of whatever play her class was working on. In a few years she hopes to be practicing her domestic skills, and eventually have five kids. Here’s a little preview of Jos’ Meryl Streep-like acting:

As for me, I don’t really know what I’d be doing. I like to draw, like Jazzy and Toni; I like to run, like Denia; and I also like to do anything out-doorsy, like hiking, mountain biking, and thinks like that. I wish I could practice yoga like Kiran and Tay, but I think I may be one of the most inflexible people around. So when we practice yoga as a team, I like to stick to the corpse pose. I am studying Human Biology like Toni, to hopefully become either a Nurse Practitioner or Physicians Assistant some day, and eventually live in the mountains with my husband, three kids, and a dog (that probably won’t be as awesome as my dog now, Sadie).

So basically what I’m trying to say is, there is a whole lot more to this team than people know. My fourteen teammates are some of the coolest, funniest, smartest, most fun people around, which makes playing basketball at Stanford with them even better. Thanks for reading! See you at the games!

Sara James

December 17, 2012

We live for the moments we share

Chiney blogs in espnW about her "twin sister" Joslyn.

Click here to read it.

December 11, 2012

Just a little bit suits Jasmine

The saying goes that, "The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup." For our team, it's not Folger's that gets everyone going, but Starbucks instead.

More than half of our team enjoys a wonderful cup of Starbucks coffee at least twice a week. On our trips through various airports, most of the team, coaches included, makes a nearly ritualistic stop at Starbucks. We probably single handedly fund any airport Starbucks.

Our drinks range from straight black coffee to caramel lattes. You can ALWAYS find Amy with a Starbucks cup, usually straight black coffee. I think she Google searches for the nearest Starbucks no matter what city we're in.

Now personally, I'm not a coffee drinker at all, but I've recently found peppermint mochas. For a while, I was totally against trying it because it contained coffee. I didn't know that it contained chocolate (mmmmmm) until Denia enlightened me on the contents. The chocolate was the real deal closer for me. After that first sip, I was sold on this stuff.

So I have recently joined that ever growing group of us that makes a Starbucks run. I still refuse to touch any hard core coffee, but a little coffee in a peppermint mocha is just enough for me.

December 3, 2012

Cool Beans, Brew: The History of Coffee Club

By Mikaela Ruef

Of all the great experiences I’ve had in my 4 years on the Stanford Women’s Basketball team, I’d have to say 87% of the things I remember from road trips are Coffee Club trips. Like our first trip to Utah when we walked 30 minutes to a Starbucks in a grocery store because we didn’t know there was a coffee shop right across the street in the opposite direction. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so I’ll start where all good histories start, at the beginning.

It all began on my very first trip to Seattle, Washington. Our strength and conditioning coach at the time, Devan, was an avid coffee drinker and so was my adopted sister, Sarah Boothe. I was only a wee little freshman just discovering the countless joys coffee can bring to an otherwise uninspired day. Since we were staying right down the street from Pike’s Market, Devan suggested we visit the first ever Starbucks, and check out the shops in the morning before breakfast. It was the coolest thing walking through the market at 8 in the morning. We walked past a beautiful Roger Federer banner that was hanging from the roof of Nike Town, rubbed the pig statue for good luck at the entrance of the market, smelled the glorious scent of fresh donut holes, passed about 12 Starbucks, then finally arrived at the original Starbucks. We got our morning cup-a-joe then explored. After that trip it was decided, we would get up early every morning to walk to a coffee shop outside of the hotel so we could explore which ever city we were visiting and enjoy a cup of heaven on our adventure.

The Coffee Club didn’t actually get the name “Coffee Club” until my sophomore year. I know you’re thinking that Coffee Club isn’t even that clever of a name, but before my sophomore year the 3 of us were just a nameless group wandering the streets, we were offish, but we had no name. My memory may be a little fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure our group got the name after Tara called us the Coffee Club. I think it was after the Utah fiasco, when we showed up 20 minutes late to breakfast because we hiked 3 miles to find a coffee shop outside of the hotel, and misjudged how long it would take us to get back. The only rule in coffee club is that you have to go to a place outside the hotel because the point of coffee club is to wander through the streets of the town we’re visiting. Anyway, Tara wasn’t super thrilled that we were so late to breakfast and afterward she was talking to me about it. All I remember from that talk was, “… and no more of this Coffee Club….” and I remember thinking, what a BRILLIANT name for our group! Luckily both Boothe and I played good in the Utah game, so Tara took back her earlier decree of “no more Coffee Club”, and the name stuck.

Devan, Boothe, and I desperately wanted to expand our group so more teammates could relish in the wonderful experiences we were having on the daily. Boothe and I were also concerned about getting freshies to join so they could carry on the tradish after we left, but everyone was reluctant to get up early in the morning, sleep trumped freshly brewed goodness in their minds. We thought we had a new member when Toni joined the team, cuz she appreciates a good cup of coffee when she tastes it, but sadly the one thing Toni appreciates more than a good cup of coffee is an extra hour of sleep, and so she was a no-go. Our search continued until about halfway through my sophomore year when Sara James (aka Sejjie Wedgie) bravely elected to forgo the extra hour of sleep and take a dip in the pond. Sej got up early one morning and joined us on one of our fun filled trip. It only took one trip and she was hooked, ever since she’s been an integral part of the Club.

Then next year, Devan, one of the founders of Coffee Club and token chaperone/ bodyguard was no longer with the team, and we weren’t really quite sure how Coffee Club could go on with out him. That is when Aaron Juarez, SID extraordinaire stepped up in a big way. Aaron doesn’t even drink coffee but he knew how important Coffee Club was to Boothe, Sej, and me so he promised he would take Devan’s spot as bodyguard even though it meant getting up early every morning. Aaron has gone above and beyond his duties, he not only scares off shady peeps walking down the streets, he even scouts out coffee shops the night before so he knows where we’re going the next morning.

Boothe, too, has now moved on to bigger and better things, and I am the sole founder of the Coffee Club remaining at Stanford. One day I will also move on, but my hope is that as people move on, the Coffee Club endures. Currently, the Coffee Club is flourishing, having added a new member, Kurtis Rayfield, caffeine enthusiast. We are constantly trying to recruit new underclassmen to join, and if ever they opt to make the sacrifice and join us for a trip or two, I’m sure they will fall in love with the Coffee Club and never leave, just as every past and current member did on their first trip.

November 30, 2012

Our season is in our hands this year

Chiney begins this season's team blog with a post to espnW.

Click here to read it.

March 14, 2012


Each year I enjoy and look forward to writing my blog and thinking of something new and interesting that no one has talked about yet. So as I sit here trying to think of something awesome to share with you, I keep coming up with the same thing…MARCH MADNESS!

The month has begun and the craziness is soon to creep up on us, which is even more of a reason to gear up and talk about why people love the madness of March. March is a month of memories, memories that create stories that last a lifetime. Although March seems to make very memorable moments for teams, fans and families, those moments are not always the most pleasant. What makes March so crazy is that there are make or break moments for everyone, but unfortunately all but one team walks away completely satisfied. I would say that I know a lot about these mixed feelings, after having gone through 2 basketball years of March.

Yes, March is insane, hectic, and exhausting, but it’s worth it! March is the month where teams either make or break their season; it is a testament to who has worked the hardest and wants it the most. I have been lucky enough to be part of 2 Final Four teams and had the chance to play for a National Title. Playing in the NCAA tournament in March is what every team wants, and actually playing for a National Championship is what teams only dream of doing.

Our team has had some of our greatest basketball memories during March that will forever be cherished. We have had our fair share of ups and downs, last second shots, and complete blowouts, but no matter win or lose; we enjoy every second of it. Quite frankly, I don’t know of any other team out there that works as hard as we do or has as much fun winning as much as we do.

Which is why I am here to say that WE ARE READY FOR MARCH MADNESS 2012! We have upper classmen who know what it will take to get it all done this year. We have the injured folk who want this just as bad and will cheer their hearts out if that’s what it takes for us to win. Last but not least, we have six freshmen that have never experienced such a thrilling time in their basketball career, and will be excited to have the chance to prove to the country why Stanford is here to stay.

I am beyond excited for this month and only look forward to all that comes our way. I know it will not be easy, in fact it will be extremely difficult, but I am 100% confident that we will be ready for the challenge and will be willing to give it our ALL, because in the end the only team that matters is the team that leaves Denver trophy in hand.

I know what the heartache feels like after coming up short and being reminded of all the hard work you put into that year and it not being enough. It isn’t fun, which is why I know and believe that we are ready to bring it and do everything in our power to not let anyone take what it is we want. GO STANFORD!!!!!!


March 6, 2012


As a part of the legacy of Stanford Basketball, we have always counted our blessings. Whether it’s winning the Pac-12, ending the famous UConn winning streak, or competing in Final Four after Final Four, we have always understood that we live our basketball lives with NO guarantees.

Everything is learned and everything is earned; and as we continue to broaden our experiences, changes are constant. Instead of a player defense we might surprise our opponent with a zone; rather than practicing in morning we might practice in the afternoon to accommodate for classes; or instead of simply running out onto to court before our game we might entertain ourselves with a little Soul Train action in the tunnel.

Yes indeed, if you haven’t already witnessed our new pre-game ritual I’d be more than happy to enlighten you all with a brief overview of these pre-game festivities. With a variety of dance moves from each person, our “Go Stanford” mini dance party really gets things bumpin’ before we dominate on the court.

Me (Nneka) – Known as the Smooth Operator, I always keep it real with the modern “dougie”, a dance move some of you may not be familiar with but is a currently a pop-culture hit and, quite frankly, our team’s dance move, in any case of an emergency, and mantra, hence the title of my blog.

Sarah Boothe – Representing dance moves of technicality and precision, Boothie always welcomes us with the traditional sprinkler or an occasional running man.

Supporting Staff – Though our circle takes place in the privacy of the tunnel, it is most definitely not exclusive to players. Natasha, our wonderful manager, has been known to bust a move or two, I’ve definitely spotted Kate peeping around the corner and contributing some rhythmic head nods, Amy and Trina have proven that their “hips-don’t-lie”, and Tara might have surprised us once by, as best said by the King of Pop, “shaking her body down to the ground”.

Sara James (Sej) – One to surprise many with her surplus of dance moves, Sej is well-known for either interpreting her inner-Carlton and representing #NerdNation or “Worming” it across the floor with her collaborative counterpart, Toni.

Toni-Bologna – As I mentioned in Sej’s dance bio, Toni often performs a mean “Worm” in our circle’s center, or represents the band with a few erratic leg kicks and finger pointing.

Jasmine (Jazzy) – As we all know, Jazzy suffered a foot injury in the beginning of the season that limited her physical contributions on the court. HOWEVER, her dance moves scream “Please Don’t Stop the Music!” seeing that she utilized both her crutches and walking boot to SAFELY improve her grooooove.

Lindy (LuLu) – Lu has customized dances moves. Whether it’s a spin off of the Cabbage Patch or a variation of the 1,2 Step, Lu has shown that the beat is in her heart.

Amber (BamBam) – Rarely are we ever honored with Bam’s contributions to dance circle, but when she DOES decide to Harlem Shake it, we know that things JUST GOT REAL.

Chiney (C) – Like I, my sister is rhythmically gifted. Although often times she chooses to show off her versatility and express herself with some impressive Robot or Snake movements.

Taylor (Tay) – As a more timid member of our circle, Tay keeps it simple in the dance circle with the customary Raise the Roof gestures.

Mikaela (Mik) – Mik’s finger wiggles always make us giggle. Despite the difficulty we go through to squeeze a move out of her, we know that Mik loves dancing in the moonlight.

Grace (Gracie) –As the diva of our dance circle, Grace’s “Toxic” moves reflect the likes of many pop stars seeing that she can’t ever help but to Whip Her Hair.

Alex (Lex) – As our Problem Child in the circle, Lex’s refusal is unyieldingly interpreted by the team as a cathartic need to express herself and let loose. With this, we often erupt with excitement when she decides to Move It Like Berne.

Bonnie (Bonnicle) – Whether it’s making a fool of herself or making a fool of herself, there is never any shame to BonBon’s game seeing that she is always gleaming with joy and flashing those pearly whites while bustin’ a nerdy move Stanford Cardinal style.

Erica (EPayne) – For a few weeks now I’ve been attempting to piece together the intricate moves of our most loquacious freshmen. I’ve concluded that EPayne’s dance moves are representative an era where the Electric and ChaCha Slides were much appreciated.

Josyln (TinkTink) – Tink is our secret weapon of mass destruction. Tink is by far THE BEST dancer on the team. She can Pop, Lock, and Drop It, Wobble, or MoonWalk for all we know. But, come game time, her Krumping style is always a crowd favorite.

As you may feel, our new pre-game ritual wonderfully represents our team: We are crazy and have fun, but also take care of business for 40 minutes. But, when you hear “Go, go , go, go, go Stanford!” know that


February 27, 2012

Amber counts her blessings

Hello Fastbreak Club.

As this week's designated blogger I'd like to take the time to show gratitude to everyone who has given us so much support. I speak for the whole team in saying that we don't take for granted the blessings and opportunities we have as being student-athletes at the number one university in the world. From our parents, family members, and friends back home who helped support us along the way to the wonderful, dedicated fans that come to every game-thank you. To our coaches, managers, trainers, interns, and to everyone that makes it possible for us to do what we are able to do, we are extremely grateful.

Last night was a historic and momentous one in the fact that after our win against Colorado, we were recognized as the first ever conference winners of the Pac-12. We received t-shirts, a banner, a gleaming trophy, and a much appreciated round of applause from those in attendance. It was an exciting time for me personally, especially being a freshman, and it was an honor to be part of our program's amazing history and tradition of winning and success. In those moments all I desired was to appreciate the moment and make a promise to myself to keep the tradition going. It was one of many occasions in which I'll never forget and definitely brought our team closer together.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

February 23, 2012

Size discrimination

During this basketball season there is something that I have noticed. I discovered it through the many trips our team has taken throughout the year, and I feel it is my duty to share it with the world. What I have noticed is that, at least throughout the travel industry, there is a severe case of size discrimination.

Now, I know that I am not the tallest player on our team. Actually, the Stanford Women’s Basketball team is the one place where I actually feel normal in the height department. I can have a conversation with someone eye to eye without having to look down. The fact that I am noticing the size discrimination means that it is even worse for my teammates that are taller than me. There were three main instances where the discrimination caught my eye.

Instance number one was on the plane ride to Ohio. I walked onto the plane, put my bag in the overhead bin, and took my seat. As I sat down, I realized my leg space was so small that my knees were touching the seat in front of me, even though I was sitting straight up. I could not believe that they had allotted such a small area for their passengers’ legs. They clearly were not taking into account anyone who is over 6 feet tall. I find this unfair. Tall people deserve leg room too.

Instance number two was at the hotel in Fresno. During this trip I was lucky enough to be rooming with the incredibly lovely Sara James. This has nothing to do with my story; I just thought you all should know that she is awesome. Back to the point, after a long day of hard basketball work I went to curl up in my cozy bed only to find that my feet dangled over the end of the bed. In order to get my entire body on the bed I had to make sure I slept diagonal. It was an outrage! Tall girls need to sleep too.

Instance number three was at our hotel in Colorado. We had just come back from practice, and I desperately needed a shower. What can I say, we work hard. However, to my disappointment, the shower head was so low I practically had to touch my toes in order to wash my hair.

Enough is enough. Size discrimination has got to stop. I know these are not issues for everyone on our team. However, if I am dealing with these issues I can only imagine what Sarah Boothe must deal with. Yes, we may have long legs, and we can reach the very top shelf, but we are people too.

Erica Payne

February 14, 2012

Ode to a Record Player

My goal in my time here at Stanford is to never write a team blog about basketball. My reasoning for this is because immediately when you think about team blog you think, “Oh yeah, that should be about basketball and the team.”

A few important things to know about me are that I’m extremely austere so, naturally, I think sarcasm is for the birds, I hate doing things I should do, and I’m 98 and ¾ percent certain that the world revolves around me. That being said, this blog will be an extension of the aforementioned characteristics.

This Christmas I received the most amazing present from my mom, and so I’ve decided to write an ode to this particular present, so without further adieu, I give you…

Ode to my Record Player (and my other strange interests)

Some say the greatest gift you can receive is love
That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of.

I want what I want; I don’t want what I need
I want zany, bizarre, some unheard of new breed.

Ok, a record player isn’t that weird,
Well it would be if it had a beard,

But I love it for so many reasons
It’s useful in all the 4 seasons

Eltilly I named him, you shall soon find out why,
He’s a formidable companion, one helluva guy

He sings to me when I get too bored,
As long as I remember to plug in his cord.

He has the voice of an angel, does Eltilly,
Sounds just like Rick or Elton or Billy.

Rick Springfield and Elton John that is,
And Billy Joel, the preferred artist of his.

So Eltilly, you say, and that is how come?
Elton and Billy, you see, is where it comes from.

He plays records of course, but, no that is not all
He plays CDs, MP3s even basketball!

Well not that last one, but t’would be sweet if he did
Though he does have a radio underneath the lid

Oh and one more thing, a tape deck
Don’t have tapes, but ah what the heck

It’s funny how the times are
Or at least how they’ve been in my life thus far

I have records, though tapes are much “newer”
Vinyl is older, one may think there’d be fewer.

But records are retro; they’re cool and back in
T’will be years before tapes are in again.

And I, unlike my friends, feel strongly about choice music
The junk my teammates listen to makes me feel sick

Pre-game pump-up Rack City? Not a fan
I’d rather listen to Billy sing The Piano Man

How about Hall & Oates, Rich Girl anyone?
Or perhaps the Beatles, Here Comes the Sun.

We could listen to Vienna, don’t change my song, Let it Be,
It might be pre-Mikaela, but It’s Still Rock and Roll to me!

Jesse’s Girl and Tiny Dancer are a few of the good twos
Levon is sad, but I guess that’s why they call it the blues

Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress is good during weights,
Or Danger Zone, A song Grace Mashore truly hates

In the shower, play me Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen,
I’m no Big Shot, but I have the voice of angels, not 1, 18!

And while I’m shooting? I Say a Little Prayer For You
Or Ain’t too Proud to Beg, that’s a good one, too.

I should stop with the rhymes now; I’m to the end of the page,
The take home: Some things (like music) get better with age

I realize now as I finish this poem, it’s less about the actual record player, and more about my fantastic taste in music. That’s how things go sometimes; they start out one way and end another way. Anyway, I like Dr. Seuss and I like rhyming, that’s why I wrote a poem. I’m thinking next year might have something to do with fashion (you know, cuz I’m an expert).

I know you are all immensely depressed because my blog is over, but as Dr. Seuss himself once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because happened.” Plus there will another one next year.


February 8, 2012

The Cardinal's got moves

You may think we only have moves on the court, but Stanford Women's basketball can dance with the best. We like to bust out a few moves every now and then and even before the games.

Whenever a beat comes on and a song starts playing, our team gets to grooving. A few of us have some "go to" moves.

Bonnie is known for her snap and what appears to be a chicken dance. She does it regardless of what song plays and whether or not she's even on beat.

Taylor will whip out a "raise the roof" to get the party going, and Grace adds a little head bob to the mix.

We make a mean wave, and Toni and Sara James do the worm better than anyone I've ever seen.

We should audition for America's Best Dance Crew. I think we've got talent, and we should definitely be on television showing off our skills.

All of the players bust a move or two, but what I'm dying to see is our coaches break out a few dance moves. From what I've seen, they tend to shy away from the dance floor, although I have witnessed Coach Amy Tucker break out into a nice rhythmic step when she thinks no one is watching.

All I can say is that "Stomp the Yard" can't "Stomp the Card"!


January 16, 2012

Taylor on traveling

Finally Cardinal fans, it's my turn to blog! I've been looking forward to this blog for quite some time, which is why it's a little delayed (because I had to make it perfect!) As I've seen, my teammates have written some extremely creative blogs, so I'm going to do my best to COMPETE - Coach Kate should be very proud of me.

The theme I have chosen for this special blog is traveling. Let me just tell you, I've never been a huge fan of flying; motion sickness loves to torture me.

There are two sides to traveling: 1) More quality times with my teammies off the court and 2) Packing up my whole locker, carrying on stinky shoes and ankle braces, and scrunching our legs behind the airplane seats. Everyone complains about their legs cramping, but I've actually always thought the leg room should be reduced; I tend to get too comfortable the way it is right now.

OK, there's something I should probably mention: sarcasm is my first language. It can get me in a little bit of trouble, but I promise I mean well.

On a serious note, traveling with my teammates is the best part of road trips, and it makes up for the not-so-fun parts of travel. When we are on the road, everyone is paired up with a teammate-roommate, which is my favorite part since none of us live together during the school year. I look forward to rooming with a new teammate each trip because it gives me a chance to get to know them even better because, yes, I'm a freshman.

The freshman experience of traveling isn't the biggest hooray moment, though. We receive the honor of lugging around the two "extras", which consist of the components necessary to set up our projector to watch film. It's soooo much fun!!

My next favorite would be sitting next to a coach on the flight, especially if it's at least two hours, so we can watch film together! It gets even better if the flight is at 8am, I'm about ten seconds away from falling into my deep sleep, and Amy would like to watch "the things I could have done better" from the previous game. This would be why I prefer to fly Southwest.

Kidding. We all appreciate the time our coaches, LG (Lauren Greif), and Liz put into scouting and film. When it comes to the game, we may know the other team's plays better than they do.

As you know we just got back from our Utah & Colorado trip, and it was a complete success! We came out against Utah, and they wanted to be physical, but we proved to them that whatever they brought to the table, we had more. Colorado was another story; we came out tough from the beginning, and we were able to keep a nice lead to finish off the Buffs!

It was a long trip since it was the first week back to classes, but who doesn't like falling behind on lecture notes and not having a clue what's going on during the next section? Once again, kidding.

The responsibility and self-discipline our team has is insurmountable, especially when it comes to academics. Even though we are traveling, we all do the required work and more in order to stay caught up in school.

Well, it seems as if it's time for practice. Or is it weights? Film? No, it's that thing called sleep. Yep, that's it.

Thank you so much for the support you show Stanford Women's Basketball! We definitely appreciate it, and hopefully we repay the favor to you all and ourselves with that National Title!

Go Card!

January 8, 2012

Living the hotel life

Hello All!!

As some of you might know, during the holiday break from school all students are required to move out of their dorms or campus living situations. As all of you should know (because you are at our games!) we clearly do not have this break off from basketball.

Therefore as a team, we move into the Sheraton for the three weeks we have off from academics! Living the hotel life has its pros and cons but for the most part it’s pretty fun. After all, who can complain about big comfy beds, TVs and room service?!

Being in the hotel is also nice because of the time we spend together as a team off the court. Most of the time roommates are paired off so that people who do have cars are with people that do not, so transportation for food and to practice is never an issue. That being said, because we have such a young team, that isn’t the case for every roommate pair.

While we have a couple fun dinners as a whole team, for the most part individuals seem to be enjoying different types of activities. For instance, the freshman tend to move in packs together and can be seen “borrowing” Sara James’ car, affectionately named “Zenon” (don’t ask me why), to drive off to Yogurt Land.

Toni and Mikaela can be spotted walking from the Sheraton to the Starbucks in Palo Alto to simply read.

Jos and I can sometimes be found on California Ave getting our nails done.

And we all seem to frequent Trader Joes (“TJs”) for some healthy snack and lunch options ... well except for Nneka! She still prefers going to the classic Safeway for her dining pleasure!

All in all, as a team we have a great time together doing a number of activities and we need to make sure that our chemistry off the court continues to show on the court!!

As always, Go Card!



Hey Cardinal Fans!

I hope everyone had a great time celebrating this holiday season, I know I did. I had an amazing time with my family and friends for Christmas. My El Dorado Hills home was busy with kids of all ages baking cookies, opening presents, and everything in between.

Even though my time with my real family was short, I was happy to return to Stanford with my basketball family. Over the past two years I have developed friendships with these girls that I'm sure will last a lifetime.

Even though this team is much different than last year's team, it is perfect in its own way. I have grown so close to each of the other fourteen girls, which is one of the main reasons why I enjoy coming to practice for hours each day.

The main subject of this blog, however, is going to be names. With traveling for weeks at a time, rooming together in countless hotels, and spending each and every day with each other, we (well, mainly me) have created names and nicknames for each of my fourteen sisters.

Lindy: Looooopy (Not sure where this one came from but from Lu to Loo, to Loopy)

Grace: Gem, Gracie (I like to call Grace "Gem" because I think that she secretly wishes people would call her Gem. If you didn't know GEM are her initials and because people call me SEJ, I thought I might spread the trend. Not to mention GEM is also a gem)

Nneka: Gorgeous, Beautiful (Nneka and I call each other Gorgeous and Beautiful because first off, who doesn't like to be called beautiful? Even if they don't really mean it, its nice to be heard sometimes! But besides that I'm not really sure why we call each other that.)

Sarah: Boothie (I call Sarah Boothie because I find it weird to call someone my own name. Also she just seems more like a Boothie to me than a Sarah. We also argue over which Sara(h) is better and I claim that her name should be pronounced sarAH- emphasis on the AH)

Mikaela: Ruef, Ruefie, Michelle, Mik (Ruef has always been Ruef to me, not sure why. A few times I tried to call her Michelle just because it's similar to Mikaela, but she did not like that at all and even threatened me).

Joslyn: Jos, Jossy, shjaughlyn, J Tink, J Stink, Cankle, Tink (Joslyn has a lot of names for me, but I usually call her Shlaughlyn, and she calls be Shlejj. You kind of have to hear us say it to really understand. Again, I'm not really sure where this came from)

Chiney: C, Ch(IE)ney (Devan, our old strength coach started with C, probably because he didn't know how to pronounce her name at first, but it has stuck. C is easier and faster to say on the court, anyway.)

Toni: Tone, Tonitha, Antoinette, Marie, Toni the Tiger, El Tigre (Toni has been Ton, Tonitha, El Tigre, really anything to me. Once I called her Antoinette which then lead to Marie (Marie Antoinette). I'm not sure if she likes that one. But for Toni it's usually Tonitha)

Erica: E, Amber, E Payne, Urrica, Ianna, PG (I like to call her E and Ianna. Most of the team calls her E, but I think I'm the only one that calls her Ianna. Once again I'm not really sure where this came from. I also like to call her PG sometimes, short for point guard, because she is the point guard in my heart.....?.. Amber is in her list of names because for some reason Tara always calls her Amber by accident. Nobody really understands why, or where the connection between Erica and Amber came from.)

Taylor: Tay, Tay the May......or, Purple Valley, Taylor the Sailor (Taylor is Tay to everyone, but I like to call her Tay the May......or(with a pause between May and or) because at one point I was trying to find something that rhymed with her name and that was all I could come up with at the moment. Purple Valley also comes from Green Field, if you can put two and two together.)

Bonnie: Bon, Bonaldhino, Bonitha, BonBon, Dean, Bonathon (Bonnie is Bon to everyone. I call her Bon, Bonaldhino, and BonBon usually. No reason behind any of them.)

Amber: "AMBAAA", Am Bam, Bam (Amber is "AMBAAAAA"– you have to really hear us say it to understand. Not sure why this started)

Jasmine: Jas, Jazzy (I haven't yet created a super creative name for Jas, but I'm sure I will soon.)

Alex: Lex, "alexxxxxx" (Alex is "alexxxx" said with no enthusiasm whatsoever. I use this one because she is actually the most enthusiastic person I have ever met.......?)

Thanks for reading, Cardinal fans!
See you out on the court!

Sara, Sej, Sara James, Sejjie, Sedgwick, Bear......but mostly just Sej.