Dec. 1, 2000
Well, day one is over, and now we are just anticipating game day. We cannot wait for tomorrow to roll around. Today was great, though. We woke up and had breakfast at Peggy Sue's. It was pretty good. After that we went to the hotel to prepare for training. Before practice, we went to the stadium, and let me tell you, it felt so good to stand out there and just look around at everything. It was pretty neat. After our walk-through, we had to take headshots for ESPN. We had to go in this room one at a time and smile (or whatever look you wanted to give) for 5 seconds into this video camera. Well, of course, us LA girls, the first thing we do when we walk in the room is look in the mirror. One of the guys says to Breana Boling, "Notre Dame and North Carolina didn't look in the mirror." Well, the reason that is, is probably because they have each been here over 10 times so this has just become routine for them. But for us, since this is our first appearance, I guess people were worried about looking good. Or maybe it's just the LA in us.
As soon as pictures were over we traveled over to the practice facilities. Practice was great, the intensity was there, the focus was there, and of course, like always, the humor. That is one thing I love about our team - it's what I love the most, actually - the camaraderie. We have such a great time together. I have never been on a team before that came together and had so much fun as this one does.
Tonight at the banquet a player from Notre Dame said, "The team that will make it the farthest is the team that can come together off the field." I thought about that and instantaneously this team came to mind. I have never seen another team that enjoyed each other's company day in and day out as much as ours. As much time as we spend together, you would think that we would be sick of each other, but for me I cannot wait each day to see them at practice or any other team function.
Right after practice today, Krista, Tracey, Venus and I all went to the pre-tournament press conference. It was nice. However, one thing that was sort of troubling is the fact that everyone seems to think that we are this program that just started or maybe just started to want to compete for the national title. It seems as if the media and others have little or no faith in us, but I guess that's fine. I love being the underdogs!
As we returned to the hotel, it was time to get ready for the championship banquet. We all looked so good! I mean you have to admit, this team is pretty good looking (just kidding)! When we arrived at the banquet, there was a social in the lobby. It was good chance to see an old teammate of mine who now plays for Notre Dame. I am also sure a lot of other teammates liked it too, as I watched them talk to past teammates and friends. Then we went into the banquet hall and sat at our tables. It was really nice because the atmosphere was really relaxed and warm. The highlight of the evening was for me to go on stage and speak. I was sitting there anticipating this as all the welcome speeches were being made. Eventually it was the time for one person from each team to go up on stage and answer some questions. I was first and they asked me how it felt to be the "new kids on the block?" And, "what did you do to get here?" I answered that question by telling them that this year, everyone has the mentality, drive, confidence, and talent to get it done. All of those things together are the reason why we are here today. I truly believe that. It's not because of a fluke or luck that we're here. It's all of our hard work, talent, and dedication. Then she asked me about a little anecdote that I had with my teammate/roommate Venus James. Prior to me going up there I knew that she was going to ask me something about that and Venus begged me not to share the story. I respected her wishes and instead shared a funny team experience that we had during in Clemson in the beginning of the year. I decided to share our whitewater rafting trip, unsure of the reaction I was going to get from everyone (because you know a story is never the same unless you were there). I told the story anyway and surprisingly there was a room full of laughs. I was relieved. When I was finished, the other girls had their turn, and then it was on to a video presentation that included highlights of all the teams. I thought that was really exciting! Especially when they told everyone how our defense is second in the nation. Yeah, props to defense! The clips were awesome. That was the final thing on the agenda, and we headed back to the hotel.
When we got back, we actually had to do an hour of study hall, which was good because we have missed quite a bit of school this past week. I think that we need to all make sure that we stay on top of our studies.
Well, I would like to say one more thing before I go to bed. Everyone is so excited for tomorrow. No one is satisfied with us just getting to the Final Four - we want to go all the way! When you come this far you have to be in it to win it. I know tonight I will have sweet dreams, because tomorrow's game will be all I'll be thinking about.