December 30, 2014

The summer of a basketball junkie

They call me a "basketball junkie” and I’m proud of it! I absolutely love the game of basketball, and this summer, I watched, played, and taught the game.   

I love men’s and women’s professional basketball. This summer I spent much of my time watching professional basketball. My favorite player is Damian Lillard.  He is an explosive point guard who has uncanny abilities — he can both make plays and be a "clutch" player. During a recent interview, Lillard said something that was very noteworthy to me.  He said, "I think we just need to take the summer... take pride in going home and improving... coming back better players and holding ourselves accountable to help the team to be a little better."

In addition to watching professional basketball this summer, I spent a lot of time in the gym working on the essentials: ball-handling, passing, and shooting.  My teammates and I played pick-up just about every other day and we WENT AT IT!  Every game was competitive and gritty. Sometimes basketball players from the University of Santa Clara and University of San Diego joined us too. Further, my teammate Bird (Erica McCall) and I were able to play in the San Francisco Pro-Am Summer League at Kezar Pavillion. We enjoyed playing against outstanding players in women's college basketball. 

Finally, I taught basketball. I was fortunate enough to be invited to make a guest appearance at the Torch Basketball Academy Summer Camp. It was awesome!  I worked with the kids and helped develop their fundamentals. I told them how important it is to "work smart" as much as you "work hard.” But, don’t be fooled, some of those kids could ball!  When I was coaching a team during the final tournament game of the camp, I thought,  “these games are just as competitive and gritty as our pick-up games!” Young players were chasing loose balls and fighting for every rebound too!  It was great. I really enjoyed watching players develop!

This summer was great and I'm really looking forward to next summer. 

— Bri Roberson

December 27, 2014

What Kaylee misses about Wyoming

What do I miss about Wyoming? It has to be the people. I can’t say that I miss the sustained 45-60 mph winds or the snowstorms from September through May. I don’t miss the 2-½ hour road trips just to get to the next town to play a game. But I do miss the small hometown feel and the support of everyone in Casper.

My first experience with basketball was when I was 2 years old. My older sister and I got a little kids basketball hoop and I was hooked. My competitive nature was apparent even then and I refused to let my sister beat me just because I was younger. My mom then signed us up for basketball at the YMCA in Casper when I was in kindergarten. It was there that my love for the game really took over.

I played basketball at the Y, the Casper Rec Center, and in Junior High and I had the support of my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and family friends at every game. Then I met Coach Diehl. Who knew then that his guidance, mentorship, support, and advice would be life changing on and off the court? It was him that told me I could play basketball year round through AAU teams in Colorado and Montana. So my mom and I travelled 2-3 times a week 3 hours one way for practices and games. We would leave early from school drive to CO/ MT, practice, eat, drive back (usually getting home around midnight- 1 am) and then get up the next morning to go school and she’d go to work. We were exhausted, but had fun too. She use to say, “It’s worth it because this will be your college tuition”. She was right. I knew then that this game they call basketball is addictive, frustrating, fun, and stress relieving all at the same time.

By the time I was in high school, I had the support of not only my friends, family, teachers, teammates and coaches, but also the town and entire state. But that’s Wyoming. I don’t think there is any other state that makes you feel like you are in your hometown, no matter what town you are playing in. We all compete. We all want to win. We all need support to do that; I did and still do, even hundreds miles away. Because of that, I am here at the best university in the country, doing what I love.


December 9, 2014

Jasmine's Favorite Moments

I can’t believe it’s already senior year! These four years have gone by so quickly, but they have definitely been a lot of fun.

There have been an immeasurable number of good times, and I’d like to take a minute to reflect on some of my favorite moments.

My first NCAA tournament was definitely one of my favorite moments in my Stanford career. The excitement was so overwhelming, and I’m sure I lost my voice a couple times during the tournament. I don’t think I had ever screamed that much in my life.

One of my second favorite moments would have to be the staff game in Arizona last year. It was absolutely hilarious. We spend so much of our time playing and battling each other on the court, so we live for those moments when we can see our coaches get down and dirty. That game was one for the ages! Bodies were flying. Tara’s trying to make no look passes, and a few staff members took midgame breaks and decided not to run back on defense. I don’t even remember which team won, but it is a game that I will never forget.

I could go on and on about the great memories I’ve had over these last few years, but I won’t.

The most important thing that I take from my years here is that I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I love my team. I love my school, and I’m grateful to have spent so much time with some of the most amazing women I know. I will always have these memories, and until graduation, I plan to make plenty more memories. So, on that note, it’s time to have a rocking senior year!