Inside UCLA Women's Hoops
Note: Natalie is a senior point guard on the UCLA women's basketball team and enters the 2002-03 campaign armed with 58 consecutive starts. Last season, she earned All-Pac-10 acclaim after averaging 5.1 assists (third-best in the Pac-10) and 7.9 points. She finished the year with 148 assists to rank seventh on the all-time single-season school list and had at least eight assists on six occasions. She had a career performance against Washington State on Jan. 6, 2002, scoring 24 points and adding eight assists. As a sophomore, she ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in assists (4.45 avg.) and steals (2.21 avg.) and established career-bests with nine assists at Stanford, eight steals vs. Oregon and eight rebounds at Arizona State. Nakase was a second-team All-State and first-team All-CIF performer at Marina HS.
August 7, 2002
You think you know, but you have no idea. This is the diary of Natalie Nakase …
JK - it's not that serious. I try to be funny. Anyway, I just completed the first session of summer school, so I'm pretty happy and relieved. No more stress about midterms or finals. Now I can fully concentrate on basketball and working out. This being the last summer before my senior year, I want to be able to leave UCLA knowing I worked as hard as I could. My main focus for the end of the summer is to work on all my weakest aspects of my game. I want to be able to walk out of here with no regrets.
So far we've been working out four times a week at 6:30 in the morning. And to be honest, I don't mind waking up at 5:45 am when my eyes are barely open. Because after we're done you feel fresh and ready to start your day. Yeah, right!! I hate waking up before 11am. I am not a morning person - ask any of my teammates. But our team makes workouts really fun and competitive. Every drill and every line that we run is always a battle. I feel like we're always improving and moving in the right direction.
During the afternoon, I try to play as much basketball as I can. We play in the Wooden Center, which is fun because we get to play against guys. For me, playing against guys gives me a different look at the game, and it's always entertaining to beat the overconfident ones.
Then at night I usually go home, cook some dinner and just collapse on my bed. At this time I'm usually drained and just think sleep. I am also going to work out with my basketball trainer, Tom Marumoto, from home, which I go to on the weekends. He helps me with my shooting, passing and little things of the game that tend to get overlooked.
My social life? I don't have one. JK. I'm one of those who believe that hard work always pays off, so when you work as hard as our team does you repay yourself by going out and having fun. I started my summer off with a little mini-vacation to Washington D.C. I went to visit my close friend, Tracey Milburn, who used to play soccer here but now plays for the Washington Freedom in the WUSA. We got to do a lot of fun stuff in D.C., like watching a lot of pro games, clubbing, eating good food, which is important, and of course going to the USHER concert. I wish I can go back. Towards the end of summer school I also went up north to visit my boyfriend in San Jose. It was more of a time to relax and just spend some quality time together. We just laid around at the beach and did a lot of shopping. I love shopping. I shop like it's my job.
On weekends, I sometimes like to go home and hang out with the fam. One of my sisters, Norie, lives close to home, and my other one, Nicola, just drives home with me because she lives in LA. So we're able to gather up and eat some home-cooked meals every once in a while.
Since I had enough vacation time, the rest of the summer my plans are to practice basketball and prepare myself for my last season at UCLA. I can't wait till next season, and hopefully I'll be seeing you all at our games. Go Bruins!
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