A lot to celebrate for Nerd Nation

AP Photo/Plan BC3/Casey Murphy

Nine hundred is a big number and Stanford made sure to honor Tara VanDerveer in style.

Last week I was either living in the library or hibernating in my room. The short time I did sleep, I dreamt about school. Four long papers and three tests later, my brain is officially fried ... I have survived finals week!

It is always a challenge for us student-athletes to balance sports and school. But it is a challenge we readily accept. Nonetheless, I am glad it's over. While most students go home for Christmas break, we prepare for (as Coach Tara says) our basketball final.

A lot of wonderful things have been going on in Nerd Nation recently. Over Thanksgiving break, our team traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and got some solid wins against Purdue, Florida Gulf Coast and South Dakota State. During that span, Coach Tara earned her 900th win.

I think it really hit me after win 899 because that is when the number truly registered in my head. Nine hundred wins? Not only has Coach Tara coached a lot of games, but she has won an obscene number of them! She has contributed to the evolution of women's basketball, from player to coach to Hall of Famer. My teammates and I are lucky to have her on our sideline.

We had a wonderful celebration at Maples Pavilion to honor her accomplishment. President Hennessy and athletic director Bernard Muir gave her a “VanDerveer 900” jersey. Our fans made some sweet nerd glasses. Overall, it was a beautiful night for basketball.

If Coach Tara were looking over my shoulder as I typed this right now, she would tell me to quit rambling on about her (she is too humble). So, I will shift my attention to this upcoming week.

Our basketball final vs. Tennessee is rapidly approaching. I love our rivalry and can't wait to hit the court Saturday. It will be a great opportunity for us to shake off our reputation as the "Nice Girls From Stanford." Rather, I am going to steal from Stanford football coach David Shaw. We want to be known for "Intellectual Brutality." Obviously, not in the same manner football teams are brutal, but you get what I mean.