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.