Fun times? Reading to kids, haunted houses

11/10/2005 - Duke Blue Devils

(Editor's note: Duke senior Mistie Williams will share a diary with ESPN.com throughout the season.)

Nov. 7, 2005

Greetings everyone!

I wanted to take some time and tell you all what has been going on with the Blue Devils. Personally, I have been quite the busy bee. I don't have class or practice everyday until 1:15, so I have the mornings to do whatever. It was great for the first couple of weeks, but I became bored with sleeping in. (I never thought I would say that!) In place of my many mornings sleeping in until 11 a.m., I have been engaged with many volunteering services. I have enjoyed programs like Reading with the Blue Devils, School Days, Rock-A-Baby, Hurricane Relief Step Show, Into the City and various others.

One of my favorites is Reading with the Blue Devils. It is a program that allows Student-Athletes to visit surrounding Durham elementary schools and read to little kids. Matter of fact, I just went the other day. Kids are so funny to me because they say everything and anything that is on their mind. I was reading this book called "Pigs Can't Fly" by Ben Cort, and when I was finished, this little kid was raising his hand so high. He was so eager to get whatever he was going to say out! He was like, "That is my favorite book, and my dad is bigger than you." It was so random, but it made me chuckle because he wanted me to know I wasn't the biggest person. Though he was correct, sadly I knew that before he told me. I have to battle everyday in practice against giants like teammates Ali Bales and Chante Black.

The volunteer program I am most interested right now is Read for the Cure. You might not have heard of it because I just started it. I am in the process of putting it all together. I want this to resemble Reading with the Blue Devils program, except the students would visit the Ronald McDonald House once or twice a week and read to all the children in the house in the mornings. The wonderful part about this program is that all the books that are read to these children will be donated to the house. This program hasn't lifted yet because I have to find funding to buy books, but it should start by the beginning of next semester.

Halloween happenings

So now on to the team! Halloween just passed and it was truly one of the greatest nights. The whole team went to a movie and five of us went to a haunted house. The team went to see the new release of Saw II. If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it. It was a very suspenseful movie. For the first time, Wanisha Smith didn't talk the whole time or scream at the screen … well almost. She talked the whole time while the previews were on. "Oh my gosh we have to see that, did you see that, that is going be scary."

The movie overall was mildly scary, but Carrem Gay doesn't like scary movies. She couldn't sleep that night because she said she was too scared. It was good that she didn't come to the haunted house! She wouldn't have slept for two.

The haunted house was extremely scary! Lindsey Harding, Wanisha, Keturah Jackson, Joy Cheek (a recruit) and I all went and we acted like a bunch of kids. The first part of the haunted house was a trail that leads though some woods. Now, I am not a fan of walking through woods. I have seen too many scary movies and, frankly, I am scared of the woods. Well, we all walked together with our arms locked and things kept jumping out at us. It wasn't until a 7-foot monster came out that I became completely freaked out! From that point on, I don't even know how the rest of us were because my eyes were closed. If we were in a scary movie, none of us would make it though alive.

We got up this little hill and saw a line to get into the house. So we all thought we were clear. We all let our guards down -- and what do you know -- this man jumped out at us and we scattered and screamed. It made no sense how 60 people in line knew that man was behind the dirt hill and didn't warn us.

Keturah was the funniest, though. She jumped so high and acted as if she was going to fight the man. As we all calmed down and patiently waited to enter the haunted house, that same little man that had just scared us wanted to keep messing with us. As we were talking and minding our own business, he crept up behind Wanisha and Joy. Lindsey, Keturah and I knew he was there, but we wanted them to get scared again. As Joy and Nish turned around, they realized someone was there and screamed. We got into the haunted house and we all were so scared. The anticipation of people jumping out was enough for all of us, but we made it through. It was probably one of the best haunted houses I have been through.

Back to the court

Many of you know that we recently had an exhibition game against the Premier Players. We all did really well, and it gave great insight to our potential. We beat the team by a lot, but the best part about the game is that we did so well without three of our players: Monique Currie, Jessica Foley and Keturah Jackson.

I just imagine what it is going to be like with all of them and I get excited. In practice it is hard to see everyone's potential because everyone is competing and beating up on one another, but the game proved to show many peoples' talents. Brittany Mitch had 10 assists, Carrem had 13 points in 17 minutes, and all posts (including Laura Kurz) were in double figures.

This team has great court vision and a great feel for the game. This first game gave all of us a lot of confidence in our capabilities, but it also showed many things we must work on. In my opinion, I think we will work even harder in practice because we know how good we can be if we work on it.

Until next time,

Mistie Williams