January 3, 2014

Sara's Stanford Memories

Throughout my time as a Stanford women's basketball player, I have played in some incredible places, played for some incredible coaches, and played with some incredible teammates. I've made all sorts of memories that I will never forget, and given that this is my senior year, there is so much I will miss about being a part of this program.

One of the most memorable moments during my freshman year was the night we beat UConn at home. That was my first experience really seeing how loud Maples could get, and I will never forget going wild on the bench and rushing the court once the final buzzer sounded.

Other important games ring a bell, like our win in San Francisco for Tara's 800th and our win in Mexico for her 900th. I don't think I understood the magnitude of Tara's 800th win given that I was a still a wide-eyed little freshman caught in the headlights, but being a part of her 900th this year was really special. It shows how fortunate we all are to play for such an elite and accomplished coach.

There are many more awesome games like these (aside from the 800th and 900th) that I will never forget, but it is the people I got to share those experiences with that mean the most.

Throughout my four years here, I have made some of the best friends of my life. Each year I say that there's no way to have a better team than the last, but I've found that the next is always just as good.

I've made plenty of friends throughout my lifetime, but there's something distinctly different about the friendships made on a team like this. Spending 5+ hours together a day, we honestly become a family. My teammates have seen me at my best and my worst, and love me just the same. We go through incredible tests together, whether it's running sprints day in and day out, or even just battling whatever life challenges come our way together while we spend our time at school.

I was thinking about it on our last road trip to Fresno — that there's something super cool about the time we all spend together on bus rides. We always have our same seats but the situations are always different.

We've traveled to Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, Connecticut, and everywhere in between together. Just like anything else, you don't just remember where you end up, but the ride that got you there.

After a game, on the bus back to the hotel or whatever, the team is crazy — yelling, singing, and goofing around.

On the way to games, on the other hand, everyone's doing their own thing to get themselves ready. Nobody is really talking to each other, and most people have their headphones in, but even then, the team is together. We're all visualizing how we want to play as a team and individually, whether it's by physically reviewing the scouting report on our ipads, or just by closing our eyes and thinking about it.There are plenty of times like this — that aren't really obvious as to times when memories would be formed — but they often mean the most.

Like I said, becoming a Stanford women's basketball player has welcomed me in to an incredible family. I can name them all — Kayla, Jeanette, Ashley, Hannah, Mel, Nneka, Boothe, Lindy, Grace, Jos, Ruef, Chiney, Toni, Tay, E, Bon, Jas, Bam, Lex, Tess, Aly, Denia, Kiran, Karlie, Kailee, Bri, Lili, and Bird. Not to mention my coaches, and all the other staff members I've worked with.

Whether I end up going to nursing school, finding a job with my HumBio degree, or anything else next year, I will really miss being a part of such amazing teams.

Can't look too far ahead though — we have a job to do in 2014! Pac-12 season is here, and it's time to continue our trek to the national championship!


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