Stoked for my senior season
First of all, I would like to thank espnW for giving me the wonderful opportunity again to share my voice with you all. As women's basketball players, we don't dunk (that often) or move with lightning speed, but we are special. Our game is beautiful because we respect the fundamentals, practice with precision and demonstrate true tactics to get wins. But most of all, our fans get to know us as individuals. They grow with us as we make four-year commitments to colleges and universities. Sometimes, they even know us better than we know ourselves. Hence, why I am so excited to continue blogging my experience as a SENIOR.
Time has really flown by. I can vividly remember walking into the dorms at Stanford for the first time, meeting people I will call "friend" for the rest of my life. I'm not going to lie, we were all clueless back then. We didn't know how we would assimilate into our teams. We didn't know what the season would bring. I had no clue what my major would be. But now, we are people eager to establish ourselves in the world. We are all ready for the next chapter life will bring. And I could not be more excited.
The basketball season has already begun! Coming into this year, I made a vow to myself to leave it all on the court, thinking that if I do that, we truly will have a shot at erasing last year's (Sweet 16) history and making a new one. Unfortunately, we have already suffered a loss. But that loss has taught me something that no win could: composure. The season is long. As last year's March Madness would show, it's not about the start of the race, it's about the finish.
I have been lucky and blessed to be able to represent Stanford University. And with that opportunity comes responsibility. As a team full of talented youngsters, we have plenty of potential. It is our responsibility to seize all opportunities to grow and get better as a team. This mentality starts with our leader, coach Tara VanDerveer. She pushes us to get better each and every day. For that reason, she is approaching 900 wins, a remarkable milestone.
As I hinted earlier, we are all excited for the next chapter in life, and for me that will be the WNBA. I am so lucky to have someone on the "other" side -- my big sis and current member of the Los Angeles Sparks, Nnemkadi Ogwumike. She was the 2012 rookie of the year and a 2013 All-Star, but I think these days she is known more for that crazy photo of her bloody face after a celebration gone wrong with teammate Candace Parker. All joking aside, she had a remarkable senior year and I always ask myself when I am challenged, "What would Nneka do?" Therefore this year, apart from chasing a national championship, I will be working to get myself ready for the next level. That means getting out of my comfort zone and owning my mistakes, because only after you fail do you learn how to succeed.
Before I check out, I always like to let you into my life outside of the court. My typical day involves class, weights, practice/games and homework. While in transit to the gym or my apartment, I am always responding to some kind of funny text from my big sis in China. My best friends are on the football, tennis and volleyball teams, so as much as I can, I go support them at their games. I also have an amazing roommate, Corey Hanewich of the Stanford softball team. She has taught me so much about her sport and promised to take me to the cages to teach me how to hit a ball (I'll probably have to wait until after the season). But after all is said and done, I'm probably patiently waiting for it to be Thursday so I can watch "Scandal."
And that's a wrap! Make sure you check up on our team while we are here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, at the Hardwood Tournament of Hope as we try to earn Coach Tara's 900th win!
Until next time!