December 23, 2013

We've got the goodies!!

Muffins, rolls, and bread galore!
We bake, and bake, and bake some more!

In the midst of all our practices, games, and the immense amount of schoolwork that we do, we take the time to bake a few goodies every now and then. It’s always a collective effort, but Sara James or Mikaela usually organize our baking adventures.

Everybody has a go-to goodie though. Briana goes for chocolate chip cookies. Lili and Taylor are fans of cinnamon rolls. Karlie goes for brownies, and Bonnie is partial to Oreo balls or Pizookie.

But our go-to treat is monkey bread. Oh, how we make the best monkey bread. Alex absolutely loves monkey bread! She’ll do anything for it. She’ll even emerge from her mountain of homework to partake in some monkey bread, and it’s hard to get her from under that mountain. We’d take on any moms out there in a monkey bread contest, and I think we’d win.

Our team may definitely have the Pillsbury doughboy beat when it comes to making a cinnamon roll or any baked good that’ll make your head spin and your heart drop.


December 18, 2013

A Christmas poem

It is almost Christmas time and with my teammates I am baking,
Cookies, bread, and caramels, we are making,
This morning, at Saint Anthonys, we served lots and lots of food,
Outside, it is way too cold to even think about being nude,

On this Christmas break we are free of all school,
This weekend, we play Tennessee, and it will be so cool,
We have the greatest team, always together, so close,
Our football team is now going to the big bowl of the rose!

I am so happy to be a part of this team,
Coming to Stanford and playing ball, has always been my dream,
I have the greatest of friends, Sej in particular,
I love school and basketball, not many extracurriculars,

It’s been such a great experience being a Stanford cardinal,
This week has been better than last, not even one final,
Soon we will all be home with the fam,
Opening presents, gathering round, and having pieces of ham,

Thank you for all your support, it has meant a lot,
I love this team so much, even more than I thought.

November 19, 2013

A typical travel day

Today I shall be writing about travel. Or to be more specific, what a typical travel day looks like for us.

We usually depart on a Thursday when we have a Saturday game. Typically there will be a practice before we leave for the airport, and the practice will end about an hour (sometimes less) before we have to leave the gym and go to the airport.

After practice there is a flurry of activity. Everybody needs to shower, finish packing, get something to eat from Jimmy’s, run back to their rooms if they forgot something, it’s a nightmare.

Anyway, we all have to wear the same outfit while we are traveling, the travel sweats, Stanford issued work-out shoes, and skins. Skins are a really tight pair of leggings that are made out of some sort of special fabric, their basic function is to keep our legs from being affected by jet lag, but man are they annoying to put on.

So we finish packing, grab a sandwich and a smoothie to go from Jimmy’s and we load all of our stuff into the bus. Each person generally takes a suitcase, a duffel bag (we have to take all of our game stuff carry on just in case we get separated from our luggage), and a backpack filled with homework.

The Freshman get to help carry all the managerial equipment; like the video screen and projector, and any equipment that we will need for shootarounds and the like.

So we get all of our stuff onto the bus, triple check that we have everything and we are ready to go. Eileen goes through the bus, and we show her our ID’s before she gives us our meal money.

I won’t say who, but I heard that one time an unspecified member of the coaching staff (Tara) forgot her ID when the team was taking a trip and almost missed the flight. This is strictly rumor, of course.

The players and coaches all have what they need, we check everything for a fifth and sixth time, and are off to the airport.


November 12, 2013

Bumps in the freshman road

Hey Stanford Fans!

This has been a crazy couple of months for me, being a freshman and new to the Stanford family. From summer school, to travelling to Italy with the team, to the start of the fall quarter, and now to our first games of the season, this has definitely been a very busy and exciting time in my life. I am so happy to share this new experience with my four other freshmen teammates, Kailee, Lili, Bri, and Erica (“Bird”).

Each of us have had a couple bumps on the road, whether it is Bird falling off her bike over the handle bars, Kailee locking herself out of her room without her bike key and running 15 minutes to a 6:30 a.m. lift, Lili’s bike breaking more than once, Bri losing all of her keys (her I.D., room key, bike key, P.O. box key) but luckily finding them, or me constantly getting lost and calling Bonnie to give me directions to my class or even back to my own dorm. 

Besides these minor challenges, the freshmen class and I are getting accustomed to the Stanford Way both in practice and academics. We are all very excited for what the rest of the year has in store for both us and the Stanford Team

Go Card!

November 4, 2013

Our Trip to Italy

by Mikaela Ruef

This summer our team had the opportunity to visit one of the most amazing countries in the world. After a long summer of hard work, we were rewarded with a trip to Italy, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect trip. Thanks to my wimpy feet that forced me to red shirt my junior year, I was lucky enough to stick around one last year and make the trip. I can’t even begin to explain how lucky I feel to have had such bad luck junior year, but enough about me, and more about the trip! I can’t possibly describe the entire trip in just one short little blog post, so I’ll just give the highlights, and even then this post will be lengthy and not do justice to things I describe.

The trip started with the longest plane ride of my life, luckily there were 3 meals, extra legroom, and an endless movie selection in the seatbacks.

Our first stop was Rome where we took group tours of the Coliseum and the Vatican. It was surreal to visit both places because I’d learned about the Coliseum in 7th grade world history class and the Vatican in religion class since I was about 8, but now we were actually there at the real place in Italy. The pictures I’d seen in books and on TV I was now seeing with my eyes and my brain had a hard time comprehending that this was real life. Of course, I made sure all of my teammates and I grossly over used the saying, “When in Rome…” because how many times do you actually get to say it when you’re literally IN ROME? The craziest thing about Rome is that it is a very large modern city with highways and cars and the whole nine yards, and among this bustling modern city are ruins from a different world. Visiting Rome is like time travelling, one minute you’re in the Ancient Roman Empire standing at the base of the original Capital Hill, and the next minute you get honked at by a speeding car for walking too slow across an intersection.

After leaving Rome, we stopped in Siena for the afternoon. Siena is this quaint, relaxing, vacation getaway, and mark my words, I will return. It was easily my favorite city because I absolutely loved the lifestyle. Everything was extremely laid back, there were no cars on any of the cobblestone roads, the weather was perfect, and the scenery was straight out of a romance novel. I was sad we had to leave so soon, but I was thankful that we stopped at all cuz now I know where I’m going to live when I grow up (just kidding, but seriously, I loved it).

Next came Florence, where I did most of my gift shopping. But you can’t visit Florence without seeing Michelangelo’s David in the Galeria dell’Academia. The statue is absolutely breathtaking, I could have easily sat and just stared at it for hours. First of all, it’s HUGE and second it’s perfect, as in you can see veins popping out of his arms. It looks like Michelangelo froze a giant and then coated it in marble glaze… that good. The team got a full day to explore Florence with no scheduled tours, and everyone took full advantage, shopping for leather gifts in the markets and eating way too much gelato, pizza and pasta (I was on a diet, so I only ate 2 gelatos a day and 9 on the last day).

The final stop before heading home was Venice, which like every other city we visited in Italy, was beautiful. There are no cars in Venice, only boats, canals, buildings, and sidewalks. The water taxi drivers are truly gifted at maneuvering their boats in the narrow canals without ramming into the buildings. Driving those things is an art. After all my contemplating, I still can’t figure out why someone would look at the lagoon Venice is built on and say, “This looks like a perfect spot to build a city”, but boy am I glad they did because it’s a unique city and a great place to experience.

Oh yeah, we played basketball while we were there, I almost forgot! We went 3 for 3 with one close game. Everyone played well, especially the freshmen, who played their first official games for Stanford! The best part about the games was watching the Italian teams during the timeouts (not that I was watching because I was so focused on what the coaches were saying). Anyway, since there are Americans on the teams that don’t speak Italian, the coaches talk to everyone on the team in Italian and then pause. Then, one of the Italian players that knows English translates for the American, then stops and looks back at the coach. Then the coach says a little more then pauses and waits for the translator. It’s entertaining to watch, but super inefficient.

That pretty much sums up the trip. It was such a great bonding experience for the team and WE GOT TO SEE ITALY! I can still barely believe that we actually went and I’m already looking forward to a return trip in the future. Before I end this, I just want to thank everyone who helped finance the trip. I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to go to Italy and I know the rest of the team is too. I can’t think of a better trip, or a better group of people to go with, and I look forward to great season because of it!

March 29, 2013


This is not the first time I have promoted Benergy and it probably will not be the last. Here, at Stanford, we make constant benergy look easy. However, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. To many outside viewers it might look like we only sit the bench and cheer on our teammates. However, I am here to give an inside scoop to the important jobs of the Stanford Women’s Basketball Bench.

The first important job of the Bench is one that none of the fans will ever see, and it is called scout team. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for every team we play. One thing that the Bench does to help prepare our team is we run scout team. What this means is the Bench will learn the plays and general mannerisms of our opponent. Then, during practice, we will simulate our opponent to help prepare our starters for what we think the opponent will throw at us. This can mean running their plays, or simulating their style of defense for our starters to practice against. This is the first important job of the Bench.

The second important job is to be into the game. At any point on the bench you have to be ready to sub in and contribute. This means we are not just spectators. We pay attention to what is working for our team, how certain players from the opposing team are playing, and any changes our coaches have made to our game plan. Also, when stadiums are loud and it is difficult to hear, it is the Bench’s job to help call out the plays so that everyone on our team knows what we are running. This is the second job of the Bench.

The third important job is to bring the benergy. When a team’s bench is extremely excited and into the game it can have huge affects on the players who are on the court. On the Bench we do everything we can to keep the energy up from start to finish. There are a few specific things we do to bring the benergy. To start off the game, I give a speech right before tip off that is meant to initially get the energy flowing. Then during the game we shout, jump up and down, and basically do anything we can to keep our team’s energy at maximum level. For example, whenever we make a 3 Kiran runs to the front of the bench and gives high fives all the way down to the end. It might seem like a simple gesture but it gets the whole team hyped.

I must admit that I take personal pride in the quality of our team’s benergy. Everyone on our team would like to play, but with fifteen players and only five spots on the court not everyone gets in. Instead of my teammates hanging their heads and pouting about not getting to play, they go crazy shouting for the players that are on the court. That is why I love this team. People push aside their own needs for the good of the team.

Therefore, I would like to give a little recognition to my fellow teammates that push themselves in practice and cheer along side me every game knowing they might not see a minute of playing time. Some of the most dangerous teams are the ones where every player, on the court and on the bench, is willing to do anything they can to help the team succeed. That is why every game my teammates and I bring the BENERGY!

March 19, 2013

Through basketball, I can help others

Chiney  plans to go to Nigeria this summer as part of an Access to Success campaign and hopes to raise money to build a basketball court.

Click here for her espnW blog.

Click here to join Chiney's Access to Success team.

March 12, 2013

Pac-12 title game a lesson in leadership



Chiney is a champion in so many ways.

Click here for her superb espnW blog.

February 26, 2013

The Girl Who Read

Hey there blogging world!!! I’m here to tell you something about me that not many people know. I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan!!!! Okay…almost everyone knows that about me, but that’s because I just love to share my Harry Potter knowledge and love for the books with everyone I meet.

Now, being a fan of the Harry Potter series is a full time job. It involves attending the midnight premieres of the movies, knowing every spell and magical creature, and reading each book of the series about 5 times each. If I were to be a member of a house at Hogwarts, I would most definitely be in Hufflepuff. They are known for their loyalty, friendly nature, and work ethic. I would also most definitely play on the Quidditch team, which is the most popular Wizard sport involving flying around on broomsticks. I would play the position of Chaser because I think I would be excellent at scoring goals.

Now, there is a certain hierarchy of Harry Potter readers on the team. Up at the top in the category of “Forever Loyal/Super Dedicated/Magic-Lovers Club” there is only Erica and myself. This highest level is only reserved for the most obsessive and most dedicated fans. We have read the entire series about 12 times total between the two of us. We often quote our favorite parts of the books and the movies as well as cast imaginary spells in times of need. My personal favorite spell is “Accio” (which allows you to summon any object to you) and Erica’s favorite spell is the Apparition spell (which allows you to transport yourself to any place in the world). My favorite potion would have to be Veritaserum (which forces the drinker to tell the truth) and Erica’s would be Felix Felicis (which makes the drinker extraordinarily lucky in everything that they do).

The second level includes the regular readers of Harry Potter who are consistent and love the books but are not at the completely obsessive level as Erica and I. The members of this level include Mikaela, Sej, Tess, Amber, and Toni.

The next level includes the soon-to-be Harry Potter readers, who the rest of us are attempting to convert. This is where the rest of our teammates lie, and our attempts to convince them to read the series continue everyday. The one who resists our attempts the most is Jos. She adamantly refuses to read any of the books we suggest, but I refuse to quit because no one can resist the lure of JK Rowling’s novels forever.

My challenge to you Stanford fans is to open your hearts to the magical world of Harry Potter because you definitely won’t regret it.

Reading is my passion, and I think everybody should be able to have the feeling of completely submersing themselves in a good book. So I finish this blog with a little phrase from HP: “Mischief Managed.”

--Bonnie Samuelson

February 22, 2013

Nerd City Rapper

Hello my dear friends and lovers of Stanford Womens Basketball!

As we are approaching the home stretch of the season, with March Madness coming ever so quickly, I feel it necessary to take a deep breath and enjoy the wild ride of a season we have had so far.

To maintain my sanity, I always try have a healthy dose of fun in my life.

So today, I want you to relax and think about how many great memories we've created. And if you can't remember, let me help you. Just close your eyes and think of my voice rapping this to you...
As Mel Murphy would say, “Another day, another dollar.”
It's time for me to holler about my favorite hoopin' scholars.

They started off the year with a bang, pow, ka-pop!
Beating Baylor in Hawaii putting the whole world in shock.

Ranked #1 for the first time in years,
they proudly repped the West, a rising league, with no fears.

Bulldogs, Gamecocks, and Volunteers gave them good fights,
But as Rihanna says, "These girls found a way to just shine bright."

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end,
two losses later this Stanny team was on the mend.

Refocus, regroup, learn from our mistakes,
only then can the good transition to being great.

It's time to give all you have because that's all you've got.
No looking back now, this season is just getting hot!
Until we meet again,

February 20, 2013

Aly sees opportunity in difficulty

Hey Stanford Fans! My name is Aly Beebe, and I am very proud to say that I am on the Stanford Women’s basketball team. I am a redshirt freshman from Santa Maria, California. Most do not know, but Santa Maria is about an hour north of Santa Barbara. We like to call it the Central Coast.

I am redshirting my freshman year due to my second ACL tear. My first followed my junior season in high school. By the time I am eligible to play in a college basketball game, it will have been two and a half years since my last appearance.

 I have been hard at work! Most of my days at Stanford include class, physical therapy, practice, and studying. With such frustrating circumstances considering my knee, I am mastering the art of patience! 

One thing to know about me is that I love quotations. One of the posters on my dorm room wall reminds me that “the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. I believe my opportunities are found in the day-to-day strive for perfection and competition during my workouts. It is not easy! 

However, I have been given a precious opportunity! I am highly motivated to get stronger, faster, more skilled, and to build better endurance for next season. I cannot wait to finally play with my awesome teammates and I cannot wait to play in Maples!

I would not be making such great progress without great support. My teammate, Alex Green, understands my situation as an injured player. She is encouraging, positive, and hardworking. 

I have to brag about our mini-victory parties. While we were injured at the same time, we would hold “mini-victory parties” every time either one of us made an accomplishment. Mini-victory parties include a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes or Chipotle, our favorite. When Alex ran for the first time, we held a mini-victory party. When I could completely bend and straighten my knee, we held another mini-victory party. 

Now that Alex is playing again, I have been telling her about our upcoming Victory party. It must top all others! It is completely necessary. 

Kurtis and Rachel are our strength and conditioning coaches. We do tons of bike workouts and squat holds. They are always super encouraging and keep me motivated on the sidelines. I am always busy with ab circuits, arm circuits, lifts, basketball drills, and the like. 

Marcella, our athletic trainer, has been helping me since day one. She makes sure I am moving along as Dr. Safran advises. My coaches always check in to make sure they can help in any way. They are as excited as I am every time I am released to do new activities such as shooting free- throws or participating in warm ups in practice with the team.

 Finally, but definitely not least, the entire team has been supportive and upbeat. The locker room is always filled with excitement. Everyone has a unique sense of humor, and I love that! Chiney, Jos, and Mic are all great leaders. Tess, Kiran, and Denia are my fellow freshman. We bond outside of basketball through meals and movie nights. It’s great. Every girl on this team is not only a stellar athlete, but also a stellar person.

I cannot wait to cheer my teammates on through both the Pac 12 and NCAA tournaments. I have no doubts they will succeed! If you saw the work that they put in every day on and off the court and before and after hours, you would be so proud of them. I know I am! 

February 10, 2013

Mother Knows Best

One of the fun things for me about our new Pac-12 schedule is that we play Colorado in Boulder almost every year (9 out of 10!). My 85 year-old mother Rita lives in Boulder. She and her friends from her water aerobics class, the “Water Lillies,” circle our game on their calendars. On game day my mother says that she feels like she is coaching because everyone is telling her “Good luck,” “Hope the team plays well,” and “Have a great game.”

My mother gets ready for the game by coming to practice. She loves seeing the members of our team and staff. She joins our team for our pregame meal. She contributes to the scouting report by reminding us that the Buffalos are “tough.” Coach Rita knows the top players for the CU team. She has attended several of the CU women’s games, reads their press clippings and has attended “Buffalo Belles” (a booster club) events. She has even confessed to me that she gets nervous before our games.

During the day we had a chance to visit. We caught up on all the family news. I saw all of the pictures she had on her iPhone of her holiday activities. My mother doesn’t let any grass grow under her feet. She has a lot of energy and enthusiasm! I really admire her zest for life!

Just when I thought it was time for a pregame nap she had another idea! She wanted my help in booking her flight to the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. She told me “all my friends are going.” She pulled out a newspaper advertisement that listed Frontier flights from Denver to Seattle for only $179! I booked the flight for her!

While I was working on the flight I had to laugh to myself. Is this the same woman who told me when I was 15, “Basketball will never take you anywhere!” Of course when I was young we didn’t have a high school team like our players do now. We did play a couple of games and my mother came to watch. Later at home when I was slow with doing the dishes my mom told me, “You sure move faster on the basketball court than you do in the kitchen!”

We had a great visit. My mother had so much fun she went to the Colorado v. Cal game 2 days later! Now she is telling me what to do against Cal! On top of that she is SO excited because she has the Pac-12 Network. She watched our men beat WSU. I better warn Coach Johnny Dawkins!

February 5, 2013

Cardinal Pillow Pets

Hey Cardinal Fans!!!

We’re really getting to the meat of season! All the games and the travelling for conference games is great! The team meals, the bus rides, the flights… it’s sooo much fun! But every now and then, let’s admit it, we all need that special someone, or something, to give us comfort. And let me tell you, for your Lady Cards, pillow pets definitely seem to be the trend!

What could be more heartwarming and comforting then a pillow pet? Whether you’re in the plane and want to rest your head on a nice soft, plush pillow or in bed and want to snuggle with your favorite stuffed animal, pillow pets are def where it’s at!

Maybe you’d like to meet some of our special friends!

Toni’s little buddy is a tiger named Ralphie!

Bon has a monkey named Mikey!
How lovable!

Erica’s special friend is the Maurice the Moose!
Isn’t he adorable!

Taylor has a red panda named Calloway Stark… based on her obsession with Iron Man.
Another cutie!

Sara’s special buddy is Jeffrey the giraffe!
He’s a keeper!

Jazz’s pillow pet is Francisco the Frog!
Very handsome!

Denia keeps Elliot the Elephant by her side!

And best for last is Buster the Bunny! Buster has always been there for me and he’s such a great friend! I can’t imagine a single road trip without him!

I guess Jos and Mikaela, being the elders of the team, are too “mature” for pillow pets! And Alex, Aly, Amber, Tess, and Chiney just don’t know what they’re missing out on!

Well anyway, I gotta go take care of Buster! Over and out from the Farm!


January 24, 2013

Stanford Women's Basketball Soundtrack

Hello again Cardinal fans!

I’d like to talk to you about something that greatly affects each and every one of us…music. For us though, music is not just a form of entertainment but a way of life, a superstition.

I know some of you (probably all of you let’s be honest) have a lucky shirt or pair of pants or even socks you wear proudly on game day, and some of our success must be attributed to the good juju this brings. We have the same routine with our music. Almost every player has a go-to song or genre they must listen to before every game. So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to… (drum roll please)

The Soundtrack of the 2012-2013 Stanford Women’s Basketball Team!

1)Ruef: Billy Joel
If anyone is looking for a belated Christmas gift for Ruef, consider a harmonica. It would be the perfect addition to her post practice serenades.

2)Jos: country music
Apparently in Montana, you don’t need to be specific. Any country song will do. Yee-haw!

3)Chiney: “Forever” by Chris Brown
I’m confident that if Chris Brown himself ever walked into our locker room, Chiney would steal his heart instantly with her famous booty shake.

4)Sej: “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama
While some of you might know her as the second coming of Mariah Carey, Sej is multi-talented. Watch out Lil Mama.

5)Toni: “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
I found this song first. Just kidding, I’m not really a hipster.

6)Bonnie: “Danza Kaduro” by Don Omar
Although Bonnie looks like she might be a professional Irish step dancer, she likes to mueve su cintura like nobody’s business. That’s “move her hips” according to Don Omar.

7)Taylor: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem
With her hype man Ruef (minus the harmonica) to back her up, Taylor can drop this entire track on par with the real slim shady himself.

8)Erica: “All the Above” by Maino featuring T-pain
No matter what Erica sings along to, there are only two words to describe it…crushed it!

9)Amber: “Stronger” by Kanye West
One can only wish to be harder, better, faster, stronger than Amber. Thank goodness we’re on the same team!

10)Jaz: “Out of my Mind” by B.O.B. featuring Nicki Minaj
When looking at Jaz’ innocent face, no one would ever guess this is how she secretly feels. We’re all just lucky she unleashes this energy on the other team. You’ve been warned Pac-12.

11)Alex: “Not Afraid” by Eminem
Do not let Alex’s quiet demeanor fool you, Dr. Dre is probably hiding in there somewhere.

12)Tess: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band
Although this is not the song I would typically associate with Tess’ mad disco skills, who’s to say disco-ing isn’t part of line dancing in Oregon? It’s a whole different world up there after all.

13)Kiran: “Ambition” by Wale
With this as her pre-game song, I’m just waiting for Kiran to whip out an MJ Space Jam dunk. Pac-12 ain’t got nothin’ on her.

14)Denia: “’Till I Collapse” by Eminem
From breaking it down with her famous “Cat Daddy” to the casual head bobbing to Eminem, you might not guess it, but Denia has a hip hop soul.

15)Aly: “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean
“Life [is] like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”…especially when Aly spontaneously jumps and lands in the splits.

Bonus Tracks

16)Tara: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross
With this song playing, you might just be lucky enough to witness Tara break it down…or should I say boogey?

17)Amy: “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga
While Amy’s outfits appear to be very business-like on the sidelines, she is just waiting for her shining moment—to bust out her suit of bubbles.

18)Kate: “There Goes a Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes
If this song comes on Kate’s iPod, be afraid, AirDyne. Be very, very afraid. The death bike’s got nothing on her.

19)Trina: “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khalid
If we had a rap battle, my money (hypothetically speaking since betting is a violation!) would be on Trina or should I say Trina ICE, as she is often known.

Thanks to the combination of Tara’s dance moves, Taylor’s rapping, and Ruef’s singing, our basketball team stands poised to be the next big hit at all the local coffee shops. The off-season is the perfect time to sharpen up our dance moves and perfect our angelic voices…as well as our shooting of course.

Until we meet again!


January 21, 2013

A History Lesson

Hey Stanford fans.

This past weekend my grandmother came all the way from New Jersey just to visit me. It was her first time ever being on Stanford’s campus, so I showed her around.

We made our way to the Main Quad to go see the chapel, and as we approached it we passed a group of six statues, each of a distinct individual. Intrigued, my grandmother asked what they meant, and I answered that I didn’t really know.

So we decided to look it up together. The six statues are referred to as the Burghers of Calais and are the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Their creation was Rodin’s way of honoring and remembering an important, historical event in French history.

The story begins in 1347, during the Hundred Years War. The English, led by Edward III, were invading the coastal town of Calais. Philip VI of France initially ordered the city to attempt to hold out as long as possible, but eventually the city ran out of supplies and had to surrender.

Edward III offered to spare the city if six of its leaders would give themselves up, assumingly to be executed. He demanded that they come out with nooses around their necks and the keys to the city in their hands. These sculptures depict the six individuals, led by Eustache de Saint-Pierre, as they are walking out to their imminent doom, giving themselves up to save the rest of the city.

Who knows what kinds of thoughts could be racing through their minds at this time. Rodin leaves that for his audience to reflect on based on the varying poses of each statue (In the end, the six people were spared by the queen of England at the time). But whatever the interpretation, no one can deny the self-sacrifice that they gave.

What can we take from this?

History is all around us, and we are all a part of it in some way. I’m lucky to be a part of Stanford, a university filled with one of the richest histories that there will ever be. I’m grateful to be involved in a basketball program that has seen the likes of Jennifer Azzi, Kate Starbird, Susan King (Borchardt), Candice Wiggins, Jayne Appel, and, of course, Nneka Ogwumike.

Now it is our turn to leave our mark, our turn to determine how we want to be remembered. It is in our hands.


January 17, 2013

Taylor's TV Insight

Hello, FBC!

So things are totally in full swing for our team right now, as we have just begun PAC-12 play. It's been quite the year for our rather young team. Everything is moving so fast, and there's always something that needs to be done; it’s nice when we get the chance to relax from school work and just watch some TV!

If there’s one thing that is sure to spark up some locker room convo after a day off, it’s about our favorite TV shows that we were finally able to catch up on. With that, the remainder of my blog gives you all an insight to which shows your favorite women’s basketball team can’t stop watching!

The most popular show on the team is Modern Family, with 5 people saying it's their favorite show. Toni, SEJ, Jos, Erica, and I all nominated M.F. as one of favorites, clearly because of the humor. I can honestly say it's the funniest show I have ever seen. I haven't heard of a collectively favorite character, but SEJ, Erica, and I love Phil; I've heard of Cam being a favorite, as well. I would highly recommend this show for everyone!

The next group favorite is Pretty Little Liars, with the avid watchers being Jos, Bonnie, Jas, and me. The show is an ongoing mystery about the murder of a teenage girl whose four best friends are determined to figure out who killed her. Every episode tends to leave us with a cliffhanger, so we obviously have to continue watching to find out who the killer(s) is/are!

Another show with some popularity is Nashville. Bonnie, Jos, and Chiney have been following this new show about an old country star and the new, rising brat who thinks she’s even better. I think the reason this show has such a rave is because of the catchy country music. So if you’re a big fan of country music, Jos encourages you to catch up or start watchin’!

The rest of the shows are all “to each their own”. Denia prefers to watch 24 when she has the time, but Tess thinks Dr. Who is where it’s at. Kiran is really into Person of Interest, and Aly prefers Private Practice. To my surprise, Amber is a big fan of Duck Dynasty, and I don’t blame her; this show is hilarious! Alex has a recent favorite, Walking Dead, so she was able to watch episode after episode on Netflix. And during that time, there was no getting Alex’s attention away from the screen. Chiney is really feeling Scandal as the must-see show, and I would have to say I agree with this choice, too; the name of the show clearly speaks for itself, so I’d check it out. Even though Jas loves her Pretty Little Liars fix, she would choose to watch Law & Order: SVU over eating a big piece of chocolate cake. Last but not least, we have Mik. Mik tries to convince everyone that How I Met Your Mother is the best show ever, and it’s so funny, and the mystery of how the mother was met is still unsolved, etc, etc, etc. However, nobody else watches the show on the team... sorry Mik.

Hands down, no questions asked, my favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy. Ask any of my teammates: I actually believe I will be in that show someday. Once I am finished with homework and practice is over, there is nothing stopping me from watching my Grey’s.

I hope you enjoyed the little insight! Which shows would you recommend?!


January 2, 2013

The Cardinal dance circle tradition

Hi Cardinal fans! Some of you may know about our team’s dance circle tradition before each game. Some of you may even have been lucky enough to catch a peek through the curtain at Maples before we run out to warm up. Or—probably most likely— some of you may have witnessed our crazy dance moves in an exposed tunnel at one of our away games.

As a freshman, I was introduced to this tradition just minutes before I was thrown into the middle of it! Before our first exhibition game against Corban in November, we walked out of the locker room and waited for the last couple of girls to join us before we all ran out on the court. What I didn’t know was that I would have to get over my fear of dancing before I could even start to think about getting nervous for my first college basketball game.

All of a sudden, the team was circled up, clapping, and chanting “Go, go, go Stanford”. I was confused, but I went with it. One after another, each girl was cheered on to enter the circle and perform a dance. I watched as one of our sophomores led the way. Bonnie started us off with a strange bird-like move that was apparently inspired by some physical therapy exercises she had been given to do last year. As my time neared, I could feel the blood rushing to my face. Me? Dancing? What would I possibly do? I’m not sure what got into me as the team cheered my name as an invitation –or more of a command—to enter the circle. I realize now that I must have lost my senses. I forgot about my initial embarrassment and I launched myself into an attempt to do the “Cat Daddy” dance, recently made famous by contemporary hip-hop artists. I think it probably goes without saying that my execution wasn’t great. I looked especially uncoordinated compared to some of the team’s better dancers, like Jasmine (“Jas”), who has a lot more rhythm than I do. In fact, had we played the way I had danced, we probably would have lost that exhibition game. But as the season goes on, I continue to work on my “Cat Daddy” dance in our dance circles before every game.

My most memorable performance was before the Tennessee game when a cameraman appeared right as we began our pre-game tradition. I panicked. “I can’t do the “Cat Daddy” on national television!” But sure enough, I had to do it. After all, it’s a tradition! I was convinced for hours following that the whole world had seen me humiliate myself on television. But I was happy to learn soon after that it hadn’t been aired. At least, not on any program that I knew of…

I learned early on that Chiney, Erica and Jos always bring a lot of energy to the circle, while Mikaela and Taylor bring their usual humor and goofiness. Toni always graces us with a few wild moves, most likely inspired by her involvement in the Stanford Band. However, occasionally, she teams up with Sara (“Sej”) to perform the famous “worm”, which was actually captured on national television before our game in Tennessee. Some of my other teammates are more timid. Kiran, Amber and Alex, for example, have perfected a simple wave, but I have faith that someday they will venture into the circle and show us what they’re made of. Tess started off shy and at a loss of what to do, but she has progressively come out of her shell and is now one of the team’s favorites.

The dance circle—although it may sometimes inspire fear and embarrassment—is an important team ritual. It gives us a chance to regroup before the game, let out any anxiety we might be feeling, and just be ourselves.


January 1, 2013

Time to dust off and make today count

Chiney thanks Stanford's coaches and fans for sticking with the team during Saturday's rough loss.

Click here for her blog.