Word of the day: Beginning
Hi and welcome to the UAA Women's Basketball blog. We are here to tell you a little about our time on the road, hope you will like it!
When the alarm clock rang at 3 a.m. this morning the first reaction would typically be to turn it off, turn around and fall back asleep. But today when it went off I realized that "holy smokes, we are going to play exhibition games in Washington D.C., lets go!"
The trip went well, 5 hours to Minneapolis and then 2 hours to Washington D.C., with most of us sleeping the whole time.
On the plane to Washington D.C. they announced that we had a war veteran from World War II that was going to receive the Medal of Honor. His name was George Yamada and the following day he was going to meet President Obama. We took a picture with him which made both ours and his day (his daughters later said).
Word of the day: Wow
Wise men always use respectful and encouraging quotes when wanting to aspire to something in life. Every day before or during practice we get an inspirational quote from coach Moser. For this blog, instead of a quote we will use a descriptive word of the day. The word for today is 'Wow.'
Starting early in the morning, 6:50 a.m. Washington D.C. time (2:50 a.m. our time) we were dressed nice and ready to go on the day's adventure.
For someone who has never been to Washington, it was a unique opportunity to see the White House. Interestingly enough, many of us thought it would be bigger. The White House itself was not the castle-like building that we imagined, and some of us even had a hard time knowing which building it was. The guard protecting and checking our ID before entering the White House even said that on TV they portray the building to be bigger and more of an independent building than what it really is. To be able to go in and experience this exceptional building was amazing. While waiting in line to pass through the metal detectors, there were nice pictures of former presidents and their families on the walls of the hallway. While inside we got to look inside the China Room, the Library, and the Red, Blue and Green rooms among others. In every room there were fresh flowers and around a certain pillar there were real green apples of which T (Tijera), felt like taking a bite. When asking a guard about the interior design, he explained about the First Lady's room and how one chair was worth 15,000 dollars.
Next stop was the Capitol. This building was great. It had incredible architecture and design. We were fortunate enough to meet Rep. Don Young and Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski. We talked with them for a while, took pictures, and asked questions. Lisa Murkowski ended up showing us around the capitol. She was really nice. We were lucky enough to get a unique tour to places where only senators are allowed to go, such as a viewpoint almost on the roof and the Senate Chamber. It is impressive, and most of us found the capitol more exciting than the White House because of the special welcome we received.
Next was the Smithsonian Institute, and by this time many of us were pretty hungry and luckily it was a great restaurant in the basement of the building. We wish we had more time in the Smithsonian because there was so much to see and little time. We would have needed another week to go through everything D.C. has to offer.
Last, but not least we went to the Holocaust museum. This is something that if you are in Washington D.C. you should really go see. It is easy to forget that it was only 60 years ago that this mass murder of European Jews happened. It is important to remember how human beings can treat each other terribly. We got to see unreal experiments that they performed, Jews talking about the experience, and one room filled with shoes from all the Jewish people; this is what it said on the wall in the shoe room:
"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers, from Prague, Paris and Amsterdam, and because we are only made of fabric and leather and no of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire." -Moses Schulsein 1911-1981, Yiddish poet.
Our day ended with practice at Landon High school, and a drive to Lynchburg in vans. There is only one word that can describe this day and it is 'wow.'
Word of the day: Sun!
After a long drive the night before and reaching the hotel at two in the morning, the coaches took pity on us and let us spend our Wednesday morning sleeping in. To our great surprise sunlight like I haven't seen in two months welcomed us to Virginia. After a tasty breakfast we went back to our rooms and worked on homework until it was time to leave for lunch.
Today we were scheduled to scrimmage with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. For lunch they invited us to their campus to eat at their cafeteria. While walking through we noticed that everyone was in jeans. There was not a pair of shorts or sweats anywhere to be seen. Sasha was speechless when a student told her that they followed a dress code that prohibited sweat pants. This is saying something if you understand that nothing can stop Sasha from talking.
After lunch we returned back to the hotel to change, work on homework and nap before the scrimmage. When we got back to the gym we warmed up and got ready to play. As I freshman I was taught an important lesson by our senior Hanna Johansson. She pulled us together and told us that no matter where we go or where we play that we are still the Seawolves. We represent UAA and we'll do things our way. It doesn't matter the size of the opponent or the gym we're in, we've just got to remember how we play and make sure we get better every day.
It felt good to finally play against a new opponent and see where we stand and what we need to focus on. According to the scoreboard we won by a comfortable twenty points but the real goal of the day was to become better. We learned many things today and left the gym as a better team.
To finish the night we ate a delicious meal at Olive Garden and returned to our hotel. After a quick team meeting we made our way back to our rooms ready for a good night's rest. Tomorrow is sure to bring more adventures.
Word of the day: Van rides!
No need for a wakeup call, the sun was gleaming through the bottom of our drapes hinting at another beautiful morning on Main Street in Lynchburg, VA. We started our day off with a Best-4-Breakfast and some coffee (well some of us did). After breakfast we caught up on our school work and our fashion. We studied hard or hardly studied, depending on who you ask, then took a little break at the mall. Some of us found some good deals on Nike Freese, while some went on a shopping spree. Panera, our lunch stop, never fails to curve our hunger and you can't go wrong with the "you pick two." After lunch we headed towards our next city and opponent. Coach Moser's van jammed, rocked out, and rapped to the ipod. If Gritt didn't know the words she was ready for a new song. "Right Here," meant to stay on the current song. Coach's ears may hurt for a few reasons, but our ride to Roanoke University in Salem, VA was a memorable one.
Roanoke is a small liberal arts college competing in Division III Sports. I was very impressed with the campus, very pretty grounds with a historical look. Our scrimmage was successful, but we shouldn't relax or dwell on our past. Our next battle is only two days away against an ACC team, University of Virginia.
We ate a filling meal, headed for Charlottesville, and got to bed for a busy Friday.
Word of the Day: Focused
Last night after dinner we drove to Charlottesville, VA so we wouldn't have to get up early and drive; it was greatly appreciated at 9 o'clock this morning! We started our day with a visit to the John Paul Jones Arena, which is the home of the University of Virginia's Men and Women's basketball teams. Barry Parkhill, the UVA Associate Athletic Director for Development, and a former UVA basketball player gave us a very informative tour of the gym. After our trip around the arena, it was time for practice.
After practice and icing, which we owe a thank you to the trainers at UVA for taking such good care of us, it was time for lunch. We went to Smoothie King and Chipotle. They were both delicious, and when we were done we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for our evening.
After about an hour, we headed over to the UVA 'grounds' for a tour given by Emily Whalen, a student at UVA who is active in the UVA Guide Services (UVA uses the term grounds as opposed to campus). We were shown a lot of the original buildings as well as the expansions the university made over time. An interesting thing about the Rotunda is that the original building was actually burnt down and the current one is as close to a replica of Thomas Jefferson's original blueprints as possible. Following the tour we had dinner in the East Oval Office of the Rotunda, an honor that few people, including UVA students and alumni, get the opportunity to partake in.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get some homework done, and to get rested and focused for tomorrow's game!
Word of the day: Scrambled Strawberries
For breakfast this morning we had scrambled eggs that tasted like strawberries. “Odd but good” Bruna´s reaction.
After breakfast, we toured the home of Thomas Jefferson up on the top of Montecello (little mountain). The sight up there was breath taking and with the fall colors you got a little jealous that Jefferson actually lived there. We got a guided tour into the house and found out a lot of interesting information about his life and his living arrangements.
After we had lunch and went to shoot around. After getting some shots up, we returned to the hotel to rest a little for the game.
The game was a great learning experience for the team. We fell short but did have our chances against a very good basketball team.
Tomorrow, will be a long travel day and we look forward to seeing all the snow on campus when we return!!!
THE LAST DC BLOG
”It isn’t the games you remember most, but the people and experiences along the way.”
Wow! What an experience we all had. These memories will be treasured by each of our players long after their eligibiltiy is completed.
I have been blessed that basketball has taken me places varying from Rome to Nome. To places I would never have visited if it wasn’t for the round ball. This past week, was the best trip this crazy game has ever taken me. So many Americans do not get the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital. We not only visited, we got a back stage pass. Visiting the White House and the Capital Building was an surprising opportunity for our kids. It was so fun to watch our kids stare in awe of where they were at. They looked like they couldn’t really believe they were actually there. Believe me, the coaches felt the same way. To meet Don Young and Mark Begich in their place of work was very special. They took time out of their busy schedules to visit with the Lady Seawolves basketball team. But Lisa Murkowski, you were amazing! You became our personal tour guide around the Capital Building and took us places only senators go. You are an amazing ambassador for Alaska and a true mentor and role model for all our young women. Senator Murkowski’s private tour was the highlight of our visit to D.C. Thank you for an opportunity we all will never forget.
When we visited the Holocaust Museum, our kids became saddened of the atrocities that mankind is capable of. They were all quiet students as they read everything on every wall. The bus trip conversation afterwards was very interesting as the kids tried to gain an understanding of why and how this occured. It is moments like these that are the most memorable because teammates learn from each other and friendships grow.
Our tour of the University of Virginia (UVA not UV) was spectacular. To see the vision of Jefferson come alive with the ”grounds” (that is campus to you people who are not educated in UVA history) was educational for all our kids. Dinner in the Rotunda was extra special. A lucky few get to eat there and here we were, the UAA women’s basketball team, eating a great meal in this awesome building. Monticello was beautiful. The fall leaves turning and the rolling hills around were breath taking. The history within was never ending. Jefferson was definitely a man of great vision and it showed in every room. Even the room that Haley wasn’t supposed to go in... don’t worry, the alarm stopped her.
This trip was very special for our team. We came together with our scrimmages versus Liberty University and Roanoke College. The exhibition against UVA taught us so many important things. Most importantly, we learned what goes into losing and how we, as a team, can control those things with our effort, our attitudes, and our pride in our team. Those things will help us this year but the things that will last for ever will be the experiences we shared together and relationships we built during the week.
”It isn’t the games you remember most, but the people and experiences along the way.”
One of these special people is Brad Keithley. None of this would have been possible without you. All of us want to say thank you for all you did for this trip to come together. We will never forget this opportunity and will share our experiences for the rest of our lives. You are a very humble man with an amazing heart. You made the D.C. trip very special and our time in Charlottesville was awe-inspiring. Thank you so much!
The only negative was that UAA couldn’t beat your alma mater ... maybe in the Shootout someday soon ...