It's wild how different life feels when you no longer do what you've always done. Basketball ended for me on February 26th against Roanoke College in the ODAC Semifinal. The night before we did the unthinkable and beat Bridgewater, the best team in the conference in one of the best games we had played all season. I can't tell you how great it felt to "make it to saturday," and keep playing basketball for a few more days. But as great as the win felt, the loss felt even worse. Since basketball has ended, I haven't touched a basketball. My teammates from previous years told me it would take some time before I could shoot or play again and they were right. I have to admit, it feels so weird to not go to the gym everyday and work on my game and to know that I won't be playing basketball the next year but in a sense it has been a rewarding experience to lose something that you love and be forced to grow from it.
To many, it probably looks like I'm having too much fun finishing up a hectic last semester of college and spending as much time with my friends as possible. Lucky me, I picked my last semester to be my busiest semester from my senior psychology capstone, my interdisciplinary studies class with the one and only Bob Malekoff, to my criminal justice internship, I'm not sure which one produces the most craziness within my schedule but regardless I am trying to make the most of each class and the rest of my time at Guilford. I am currently working on my empirical study/research for my capstone and three research papers. I think I have calculated that I have five papers and two tests that stand between me and my two degrees. I am ecstatic to almost be done but kind of sad to be leaving Guilford. I have had such a great experience here and have learned so much about myself.
I also received one of the most prestigious awards within the athletic department in March. It's called the Neurus C. English Award and it's given to a select group of student-athletes every year who show leadership within their given sport and through academics. We had a pretty stacked group this year with Tobi from men's basketball, Kyle from baseball, Courtney from softball and volleyball, and myself. We had to give speeches, got free dinner, and added our names to a long list of esteemed student-athletes, so I can't complain! And I got to the see my family on a Monday, which was great!
Aside from classes, awards and graduation, this past weekend was Serendipity. This is a fun event that our campus activity board puts on every year for the student body to just have an amazing time together. The whole idea of Serendipity is to bring our campus together. And it does just that. This past weekend we had probably one of the best weekends of my senior year. I spent it with my closest friends and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my last Serendipity. But I have made promises to show up for next years events, so no worries to Shelly Barker and Laura Kopald. I'll be back!
Also, another fun fact in my world. My sister/best friend in the whole world is getting married on April 30th and obviously she chose me to be her Maid of Honor. I know, she had good taste -- I mean obviously I was the perfect pick! No but all jokes aside, she is marrying a really great guy and I am excited to be a part of her special day no matter how hard of a time I give her! So, we will be traveling to the beach for her wedding in late April! I might also add that I arguably have the cutest bridesmaids dress of the bridal party. (Coach Kayla is going to laugh at this fashion comment!) I think we are going to have a blast at the beach with the wedding party and I can't wait to add a brother-in-law and two nephews to my list of an already large family.
As you can tell lot of changes have occurred in the past six months of my life and basketball has always had a way of teaching me about to grow, learn, and become a better person from those changes. It was a outlet for me to relieve the stresses of live in a positive way. This past year, it acted as a band-aid of some sort in my life in one of the hardest and most crucial points that I have faced thus far. I haven't written a blog in six months, but trust me I intended to. But about a month into basketball, just as I was about to get into the bulk of our season, I lost my Nanny Kay, who I had previously written about. And I really had no motivation to write alot. On November 21, at around 5:45 in the morning we lost her to her long battle to cancer. I was in Greensboro at my apartment and one of my teammates came to my help me through the situation and I don't think I will ever be able to thank her enough for just sitting there with me while I had absolutely nothing to say and was a completely wreck.
After what felt like the longest Thanksgiving ever, it was a time where I poured everything into basketball. My anger, sadness, devestation -- anything and everything that could come from the situation -- I put it all into basketball and didn't really talk or write about the situation at all. It was one of the hardest times in my life. Cancer is a really crazy disease, it changes your whole perception on life. In my Nanny Kay's case it was a really long process that turned really quick. They told us she had two months to live, which we quickly found would only be two short weeks. The cancer had spread from the bone marrow to her brain and spinal fluid, which caused for her to lose most of her vision and a lot of weight. The last time I saw her was on Thursday, I had driven home after practice to spend the night with her and my family. I walked into her room at her house where she opted to stay instead of hospice and I had never seen her so sick. I sat and talked to her for and held her hand for awhile. After I left, I had planned to come back home that Sunday to spend the day with her again, but I guess faith stepped and changed that plan. This Friday would have been her 68th birthday, and I am happy to say that she will finally have birthday with no pain or sickness. And we will remember her for the wonderful person that she was on this day.
You know, I never said it to my coaches or teammates, but I really do thank all of them because they were there for me when I didn't know how to be there for myself. They were my home away from home and a strong foundation at a point in my life when I was really upset and lost. Its something that I will never be able to thank them enough for. They made me realize how great people are and how much people can genuinely care for you.
So, my apologies for my long rant, but nonetheless, life without basketball has been a little scary and very different. But no matter if I wear a uniform or just go shoot for the hell of it, basketball will always be a part of me. I made the best memories of my life through basketball and I wouldn't trade that for the world. However, I would give anything for another year or two of eligibility. But I will be looking forward to watching Guilford Women's Basketball succeed in the years to come because I foresee only good things with our program!
God Bless -
"Sometimes courage is saying, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'" - Nanny Kay 4/1/43-11/21/10