WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM BLOG
Heller's Angels Day
I hope you have enjoyed hearing from each of the 16 members of this year’s squad. It looks like we are back to the start! No news from Siberia this time, but with the freezing cold temperatures in Norton this past week we all might as well be in the Arctic! As you heard from Oppie in last week’s blog, after a couple tough losses in Hawaii and at Roger Williams we have really been pushing each other in practice to become the best versions of ourselves- physically and mentally. It is a really great feeling to see the hard work put in during practice payoff in NEWMAC play, but we know that we can never settle and have to continue to grow individually and as a team to “get better”.
Off the court this week, we had the great opportunity to support the Heller’s Angles Special Olympics basketball team in their games in Mansfield. My fellow senior teammates, Laura and Abbie, and I were able to volunteer as referees for a series of four games involving the Heller’s and 3 other local teams, while the rest of the team did a great job cheering along and supporting from the stands. As someone who has had the chance to work with the players over the past four years, it was really great to see them play again and to see how much each of the players has improved. Additionally, every time we work with the Heller’s I can’t help it but to leave happy. The sportsmanship and pure joy for the game that each of the players has is contagious. Each smile and high five after a nice pass or a basket is made reminds me of why I started playing basketball so long ago and why this game is so great.
On Saturday we switched places, and the Special Olympians joined us in Emerson gymnasium on Heller’s Angels Day to support us against a tough NEWMAC opponent, Springfield College. It was truly great to have so many fans in attendance especially in a hard fought game that went right down to the wire. All of our fans played a helping hand in our eventual victory. While it felt great to get another NEWMAC win, there is still a lot of season left! With that being said, we are just trying to stay focused and take it day by day-just concentrating on the task at hand.
That’s it from my side! But before I leave to start preparing for a week full of NEWMAC games I have to give a quick shout out to fellow senior Laura Pierce. Laura just recently found out she was accepted to the WBCA “So You Want To Be A Coach” program that will be taking place at the Final Four in Tampa, Florida! Laura would never (to use Oppie’s words) “toot her own horn”, so I thought I would do it for her. Congrats, LP15!!!
To see more pictures from Saturday’s event check out the following link! Below are three photos from last week with the Heller's Angels team!
SIXTEENTH ENTRY - #23 Oppie Morris
My name is Opaul “Oppie” Morris, and I’m a member of the freshmen class. Since this is my first time writing for the blog - I’ll tell you a couple of fun facts about myself. I was born in Kingston Jamaica, my dad named me after himself (his name is Paul and he simply added an “O” to it), I graduated high school twice (Ware High ’13 and Northfield Mount Hermon ’14 after a postgraduate year), I have six sisters and one brother, last but not least; I LOVE Sweet Baby Rays Barbeque.
Now time for some basketball!
Our purpose as a team this year has been “to get better” and that’s exactly what we’ve been working toward all year, but especially since we left Hawaii and have returned to our paradise here in Norton, Mass, also known as Emerson Gymnasium. We’ve been working hard each and every day to reach our true potential by focusing on the little things and pushing each other to get better - this is crucial with the resumption of NEWMAC play.
Losing to Roger Williams University made us come together as a team and refocus on our goals- focusing even more on the little things. The next few practices, we worked “to get better” because it was time for NEWMAC play! We played Mount Holyoke College who fought hard and never gave up, but neither did we and we came out with a 91-48 victory. I don’t want to toot our horn, but we looked good running the court, it was a complete team effort whether you were on the bench or on the floor, and guess what?! By living in the moment and taking it practice by practice, workout by workout, and game by game we can only get better!
With each day that passes, we are getting to know each other on and off the court, which is important for our ohana. coming together and playing with a “16 as 1” mentality is vital to win the NEWMAC championship that we all want!
P.S. I don’t have any awesome pictures like the previous blogs, but I can’t think of another picture more fitting than the Wheaton College logo for the journey we are about to embark on as a team filled with working to get better, focusing on the little things, and completing each task in the moment as the Wheaton College Women’s Basketball TEAM.
Aloha! My name is Emily Cuthbertson
and I am a freshman this year at Wheaton. We are headed home from a
wonderful trip to Hawaii where we learned about the culture and got
to do the thing we love most, play basketball! During the first few
days in Hawaii we went snorkeling on a catamaran and visited the
Pearl Harbor Memorial. On Friday and Saturday, we had games against
two good teams from Oregon and although we lost both games, we came
out strong and fought hard until the end.
The night before we left the island we experienced what a traditional luau was like in Hawaii. This was my favorite part of the trip because it was filled with good food and amazing performances. While at the luau, we learned how to hula dance as well as watched the pig be pulled out of an underground oven. The pig was one of many options for dinner and I think almost everyone on the team tried a little, but only a few ended up liking it. My favorite performances were the fire twirling and when they sang Christmas songs at the end. On the way back to the hotel our bus captain, Kale, taught us about the meaning behind some Hawaiian words. He said that "aloha" can mean hello, goodbye, and love but when broken down it means to share breath. "Ohana" is another word that means family and in Hawaii everyone is family.
On the last morning we hiked Diamondhead Mountain to see the sunrise. Although this was supposed to be a nice hike to end the trip and enjoy a beautiful sunrise, we ended up having to run down the mountain in order to catch the bus back to the hotel. After the hike we had a few more hours to take one last swim in the ocean before we headed to the airport.
Although it was sad to say goodbye and leave the warm weather behind I am glad to go home and have a great Christmas with my family.
Thank you and have a Merry Christmas or as the say in Hawaii, Mele Kalikimaka.
(Team photo in Hawaii)
Pearl Habor Visit
Aloha, from the Wheaton College Lyons! Sophia Black here! We are just about halfway through with our Hoop-n-Surf Tournament trip. Our journey began as we departed from Logan Airport at 6 am on Tuesday and arrived in Honolulu at 3:30 pm (HST). Once we arrived in Honolulu, we settled in at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott Hotel, where we had a delicious Italian dinner buffet.
Although the focus of our trip is playing basketball, the first two days were filled with lots of fun team bonding activities. Our sightseeing began with a catamaran snorkeling tour, off of Waikiki Beach, where we got up close and personal with some local sea turtles. We were frequent visitors to Waikiki Beach as we had a grueling beach workout with Bri, did some sun bathing, and some of us even learned to surf! Although the majority of our activities involved catching rays and waves, the place I was specifically looking forward to was the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
After our beach workout, we headed to the Pearl Harbor historical monuments. I knew before we arrived at the memorial that it would be a very somber experience but I was not prepared for how impressive the monument would be. We took a shuttle boat out to the U.S.S. Arizona monument, with a rainbow cast in the background. The U.S.S. Arizona was one of the many ships from the U.S. Navy that were attacked and sunk on the day of December 7th, 1941. This day was the day the Japanese naval and air forces staged a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt described this day as “a date that will forever live in infamy.” This attack changed the lives of families all over the country, as it marked the United States’ involvement in World War II. It was a very eery feeling to look over the edge of the boat and see oil still rising to the surface from the sunken ships that took the lives of so many men in 1941.
Visiting Pearl Harbor was not only a great team bonding experience but also a learning experience, that I will not soon forget.
We will continue our trip by taking on Willamette in our first game on Friday, and then George Fox on Saturday! Look back for our next blog post to see how the rest of our trip ended up!
Here is a picture of Pearl Harbor. More photos to come of our trip later tonight.
(Sunset at team dinner)
(The last three photos our from our trip to Pearl Harbor)
(photos from snorkling)
(Some members of the team with a local dance crew)
Check out some of the posts from the team via Twitter and Instagram. The Lyons play their first game at 5:30 PM EST tonight. Live stats of the game can be found here: Wheaton vs. Willamette.
Sunset -Game day eve! pic.twitter.com/Ef3Tv7zEoS— Wheaton Basketball (@wheatonbball) December 19, 2014
We have arrived in the Aloha State! We left Wheaton at 3:30 am EST and arrived in Hawaii at 3:25 pm HST. After a beach walk and a team meal we all went to bed for some much needed sleep. Today (Wednesday), we will snorkel and start preparing for Willamette and George Fox! Stay tuned on Twitter (@wheatonbball) and Instagram (@wheatonb_ball) for updates on the team. #AlohaLyons
The team in Oahu!
Good morning from Waikiki!#AlohaLyons#earlybird @ Waikiki Beach http://t.co/vnaHLH3wNl— Wheaton Basketball (@wheatonbball) December 17, 2014
SIXTEENTH ENTRY - #21 Jill Bodreau
Hello Everyone! My name is Jill Bodreau and I am currently a freshman here at Wheaton and #21 on the basketball team. I come from a small town in northeastern Connecticut and am so excited to be part of the Wheaton community!
Over the past few weeks, the team has been working extremely hard to improve and prepare for our intense schedule. Last week, we traveled in style on our brand new Wheaton coach bus for our first away game at Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts to play Newbury College. Wheaton fought hard and pushed through in the end for the win. Later that week, we played Colorado College just before Thanksgiving break. Colorado was a worthy opponent and an extremely aggressive team. However, with discipline and determination, Wheaton was able to secure the win. This win definitely made the Thanksgiving Day pumpkin pie a little sweeter.
After a few short days off, the team returned to practice on Black Friday in preparation for the three upcoming games this week, two of which are NEWMAC games. We had a hard, focused practice followed by a night of lighthearted “Just Dance,” Wii fun.
With finals just around the corner, things have been a little hectic here at Wheaton, as the hours of studying are quickly approaching us. However, the team is actually looking forward to finals week this year because the week after we are traveling to Hawaii for the “Hoop and Surf Tournament!” We are so excited for the trip and anxiously await it! Go Lyons! #EFA!
FIFTHTEENTH ENTRY - #45 Kendall Smith
Hi everyone! My name is Kendall Smith and I am a freshman on the Wheaton Women’s basketball team. To start off, let me tell you a little about myself. I am from a small town in Western Massachusetts. I live with my two sisters and both my parents. Being 6’2, basketball has always been a large part of my life. When I came to Wheaton, I knew this was the type of team and environment I wanted to be around. The team, upperclassmen and lower, were so welcoming and helpful. They not only push you to become better players, but also encourage you and help lead you to success. This past month I had appendicitis surgery making me unable to play. The team has only encouraged me and helped ,e through my road to clearance, which is November 17th and I can’t wait!
This past weekend was the opening of our 2014-15 season. I am thrilled to say that not only did we win both our games, but we were also able to host the Cheryl Warren-Powers ’95 Tournament. This tournament was in memory of Cheryl Warren-Powers, a deceased Wheaton student-athlete and mother of two adorable twin children, Jordan and Craig. All of the money raised from this tournament was donated to Jordan and Craig for the loss of their mother. Before the tournament began, the team and I were in the conference room discussing our plan and tactics for the game. Jordan and Craig made a guest appearance to our chat and instantly filled the room with smiles. Our team gave both the kids a pair of awesome new sneakers, which they put on and wore all night. Jordan and Craig gave us all pre-game high fives making the meaning behind the tournament more impactful than ever. After the high fives and introductions, it was game mode. We went out and set a mark for ourselves. We won both our games on our home court, setting a standard that I know we can follow throughout our season.
Coach always asks us before games and practices “What’s your purpose?” We always respond with “To get better.” When we do our routine phrases I can always feel the want to get better. I can tell that we are all here for the same purpose, to work as hard as we can, to become the best that we can. This weekend I believe that we did get better, not only record wise, but also as players and as a team. As a starter, bench player, or even being injured, the support is always there. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of such an amazing program and cannot wait for the rest of our season to play through. Go Lyons!!
This is a photo of Jordan and Craig receiving their new shoes from the team!
This is a photo of Ollie, a freshman on the team preparing for the game.
Jordan and Craig with us after our win against Suffolk in the championship game.
FOURTEENTH ENTRY - #13 Meghan Stovall
Hey everyone! My name is Meghan Stovall and I am another freshman here at Wheaton College. I am originally from Colorado and I have three older brothers. Even though I am so far from home and my family, I wouldn’t change my decision of coming here for the world. The first month was a little hard because I didn’t really know anyone yet but since then I have met so many people and have really gotten to know the girls on the basketball team.
On Sunday before practice, the team had the chance to watch an inspiring video about a girl named Lauren. She is a freshman at Mount St. Joseph. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor about a year ago, but that didn’t stop her from doing what she loved, basketball. Her dream was to play basketball in college and on Sunday that dream came true. Sunday was their first game of the season and it was sold out. Ten thousand people came to watch and support her, and there were even more people watching online. Lauren started the game and scored the very first points in the game. After she made a layup, her whole team ran onto the floor to celebrate with her, it gave me the chills. To support Lauren a sophomore on our team who shares the same jersey number with her, 22, is going to do the layup for Lauren challenge. She has to spin around five times and then shoot a layup with her non-dominant hand. Many people are doing this to spread awareness, even famous basketball players. That being said, I encourage every reader to complete this challenge, video tape it, and post it some where, help us spread awareness!
Team trip to Salem
Moonlight Brunch picture 1
Moonlight Brunch picture 2
THIRTEENTH ENTRY - #31 Rebecca Olivieri
Hello everybody! Now it’s time to meet all the newbies, so I am going to start.
My name is Rebecca Olivieri also known as Ollie, I’m the first freshman who will be posting in the blog! What a crazy couple of months it has been while beginning a whole new life here at our Wheaton home. We moved into our new rooms, adjusted to our new schedules, and went to our first college classes. But of course the best part of all was getting to meet and spend time with the team and countdown the days until our season would begin.
And so the countdown was on. The weeks that led up to our first practice flew by faster than ever. As freshmen, we heard different stories from alums, from the seniors, from other returners, and just about anyone who was familiar with the Wheaton basketball program. I for one was very anxious and nervous but eager and very excited to get started. In anything new, the unexpected can be scary. I was unsure of what to expect. I could feel those butterflies flying around in my stomach. And of course we were all anticipating the first few days of conditioning, sore muscles and exhaustion.
Finally, our first practice was here!! It was like Christmas morning. Nervous but pumped, I got up early that morning and walked to the gym. We met up in the locker room, put on our practice jerseys for the first time, and headed to the gym to get shots up. We finally got to hit the hardwood. As a team, we worked hard at practice, hustling, communicating and pushing each other to be our best. The gym was filled with positive energy. With our energy and enthusiasm we could work on our main purpose for the season: to get better.
After going through a productive practice, we were excited to see our visiting families and the alums. It was a great way to kick off the season and have a fun day! Meeting all the past Wheaton athletes allowed us to see who we represent when we put on that Wheaton uniform. We all got to watch the past alums play. They still definitely have the Wheaton work ethic and competitive edge!!! We all then got to eat lunch as a team with our families. It was the perfect way to get to know more about each other while eating delicious homemade foods.
The first day of practice was certainly exciting. As a team we continue to bring that mindset to get better everyday. Even though the other freshmen and I haven’t been here that long, we too fully believe in EFA as Sarah mentioned in her blog entry. By striving to give all our effort, stay focused, and have a positive attitude, our practices will be productive and an exciting season will be ahead of us! I can’t wait to learn even more from my teammates and coaches and to get better as a team!
TWELFTH ENTRY - #10 Sarah Caron
Hey Everyone! Sarah Caron here! For those of you who aren’t aware I am #10 on the women’s basketball team and a sophomore biology major (not pre-med) here at Wheaton College!
First off I’d like to share my excitement with you all about the season officially starting up! Reconnecting with teammates and going to open gym to see the growth and hard work we all put in this summer starting to pay off is the ultimate best feeling. It gets you so pumped for the season ahead with knowing it only gets better from here, especially with our new lift! Can you say STRONGEST IN THE NEWMAC!
School has officially begun and I don't know about you guys but the time management struggle, the second time around, will not defeat me! Meeting with Dean Emerson was an excellent way to start up the year, helping us all get organized and stay ahead of the game. Use Google Calendar because it reeeeally works! Being a science major with 4 classes and 2 labs (one being 3 hours) and playing basketball can be easily overwhelming, so keeping ahead and asking for help is the way to go. Staying connected is a good thing too. I miss living in Meadows with both of my classmates, Sophie and Bridget, but with Sophie living in White House, Bridget in a quad on Everett 2nd and my living in Everett Studio, it’s a nice change of scenery to go visit them!
Every practice, lift, meeting, mile, high five and word of encouragement we share is not only bettering us individually but also allowing us to become closer and get better as a team. This is the start of it all and I’m pretty sure I can speak for the program when I say, here at Wheaton, we strive for excellence. From excellence comes camaraderie, teamwork and lastly success! With our level of dedication and drive, I know we are all capable of success. It is within eyeshot so let’s get at it Wheat, both mentally and physically.
Goodluck everyone with this semester! Do more, work hard, stay
ahead, stay hungry and GET BETTER!
Effort Focus Attitude (EFA)
My Google Calendar for all of you to see!
A little extra fuel for the season... If this isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!
The last two photos are a reminder to push yourselves to get better every single day!
ELEVENTH ENTRY - #5 Bridget Nicholson
For all of you who don’t know me, my name is Bridget Nicholson and I will be a sophomore here at Wheaton College. It’s so crazy calling myself a sophomore but I could not be any more excited and ready for my second year of both school and basketball here. This summer flew by faster than it ever has before due to the anticipation of getting back to Wheaton and seeing both my teammates and classmates once again.
I spent the first half of my summer working out and playing as much basketball as I possibly could. I only did this for the first half because I had surgery on both of my legs during the second half. The surgery I had is called compartment release surgery and the point of it was to release all of the built up pressure in my calves. I am very fortunate to be on the road to recovery now and I could not be any more excited to get back on the court with my teammates and work hard to win a NEWMAC championship!
I also volunteered this summer at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. I worked in the pediatric unit helping patients and their families. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Volunteering is about making a difference in someone’s life, but this experience has not only helped me make a difference in other people lives but also has greatly impacted my own as well. The satisfaction of making children smile who are experiencing such hard times is greatly rewarding. I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to volunteer with these children and hope to continue to work towards a career helping children who have endured such excruciating times.
This past weekend, the Wheaton women’s basketball team worked the TPC golf tournament to fundraise for our Hawaii trip in December. Due to the countless hours of hard work every single person put into the weekend, we fundraised a great amount of money for our trip and I could not be any more thrilled. I mean, does it get much better than basketball and surfing? I don’t think so, but that could be just me.
Good luck to everyone in the beginning of this new school year!
This is a picture of my legs after surgery.
This is the hospital that I volunteer at.
TENTH ENTRY - #22 SOPHIE BLACK
Hello Everyone! My name is Sophia Black and I have returned to Wheaton this year as a sophomore. I feel like it was just yesterday I was going to my first class as a freshman, but I am beyond excited to start the new academic year and basketball season! I spent my summer in my hometown, Gloucester Massachusetts, and was lucky enough to return to my job of four years at the Beach Pit Concession Stand. When I wasn’t in the Beach Pit I was working to stay in shape for basketball by doing some TRX classes with my aunt who is a trainer. I was also a frequent visitor, along with some of my friends, to the local waterfront basketball courts.
In addition to focusing on getting in shape and ready for hopefully a championship season this summer, I was also focused on another championship; Junior Women’s Seine Boat Championships. The boat races take place during a week-long festival in Gloucester that originated in 1927 to honor St. Peter the patron saint of fishermen. Many families, including my own, attend a procession of St. Peter to pray for and honor the fishing community and those lost at sea. Along with the religious aspect of St. Peter’s Fiesta, there are several sporting activities that are also part of tradition. One of the main sporting events is a three day completion called the greasy pole. In the entire world there are only two; one in Sicily and one in Gloucester. Over the course of three days a select group of men race across a pole covered in grease, in the middle of Gloucester Harbor, to try and retrieve the Italian flag. The other main event is the Seine Boat races in which crews from across Gloucester fill three boats: The Nina, The Pinta, and The Santa Maria. Each crew consists of ten girls along with a coach and a scuttler. My crew’s name is Xtra Oardinary.
In the summer of 2013, my crew came in as the favorite to win the championship on Fiesta Friday. We worked hard preparing for the race out in the dories and at six o’clock practices in the seine boats. To our great disappointment we lost a tight race to a crew called the Savages. We had the lead for most of the race but we lost steam approaching the flag, and failed to recover. The loss was a big disappointment but it made us that more hungry to win the next year; and that’s exactly what we did.
This summer all our hard work paid off as we were able to win by a landslide to the team that stole the championship form us the year before. We rowed hard and together with ten oars and that was the difference. My coach always said that the most important thing in rowing is that all ten oars go in and out of the water together.
Thinking about my experience with rowing, I couldn’t help but see the similarity it has to basketball. In order to win a NEWMAC Championship this year every last player on our team needs to be on the same page and play like one cohesive unit. I hope everyone is as excited as I am too see what great things this season will bring!
2014 Seine Boat Champs!
My crew, Xtra Oardinary in action! (I'm the lead oar on the left side)
Good Harbor, the beach I work at!
NINTH ENTRY - #25 KILEY SHOEMAKER
As the last of the juniors to write the blog I can agree with Becca and Alyssa that junior year being here is both very exciting and scary! It seems like just yesterday I was the little freshman scared to move in and now I only have two years left.
I will start off by saying that this summer was by far the fastest summer I’ve ever had, but also one of the best! I was lucky enough to return as a camp counselor at a day camp I’ve worked at for the past five years, and let me tell you I LOVE my job. For those of you that don’t know me I am a huge child at heart, so being paid to work and play with kids all day is fantastic. I already miss the staff and kids but I am also thrilled to be back at school!
Although most of the team moved in this weekend, Kenzie and I have already been back for a busy week of training and getting ready for the freshmen as team's representatives for the Wheaton Athletic Mentors (WAMs). Each team choses two representatives to be WAMs, who collectively as a group promote what it means to be a student-athlete at Wheaton College and at the national Division III level. Our main focus this week was to learn different ways in which we can overall better ourselves as well as our teammates and others in the Wheaton community, and I truly think we all learned a lot!
As well as all of the training that took place, Thursday we were able to join members of the cross country team and other volunteers to help restore the trail that cross country once used to train and hold races. From raking weeds off the trail to lifting fallen trees, everyone did something to make the trail a little easier and safer to run on. And despite the few bee stings that took place, everyone had a good time. It was a great experience to be in an environment among our fellow athletes in an event that will help get them back on campus training a little quicker, and hopefully holding races here soon!
I hope that everyone at home is enjoying the last of their summer and everyone at school is happy to be back! Make sure to check back soon for more posts!
Campus is ready for the freshmen and orientation!
Some of the WAMs raking to clear the running/walking trail!
EIGHTH ENTRY - #4 KENZIE KUHN
TRAINING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP IN SIBERIA
Before I left for Siberia I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what it would look like, how my days would be structured, or even what the food would be like. But after traversing 19 time zones (and back), accumulating dozens and dozens of mosquito bites, and spending countless hours in the Arctic tundra, I can say that I have a pretty good idea of what it is like to spend a month living at the top of the world.
In Siberia, the sun never goes down. It hugs the horizon for most of the summer months - creating some of the most beautiful (and enduring) “sunsets” I have ever seen. It was odd, at first, trying to train my body to sleep when the never-waning light kept telling my brain to wake up. Eventually, I grew accustomed to the sun always being up and enjoyed its company on late night walks back to the barge - my home for the month. And before I knew it, the daily routine of life in Siberia and on the tundra became second nature. Every morning I’d wake up at 8am to read an endless supply of scientific papers before breakfast was served on the barge at 9am. After breakfast I’d head out for a day in the field - trekking through the surprisingly rough terrain of the tundra to get to a series of ponds where I was doing my research. In a nutshell, my project focused on how concentrations of methane, an important greenhouse gas, change throughout this series of ponds. If I needed to stay in the field for the day I would negate going back to the barge for 2 o’clock lunch and would, instead, have a picnic of bread, cheese, and meat (sometimes an apple if I was really lucky) in the company of some fellow researchers and many, many mosquitoes. By 8pm or so I would pack up my field gear and walk the 3+ kilometers back to the barge for dinner.
Dinnertime was one of my favorite parts of the day. After a meal of Russian staples - bread, barley, moose, and some sort of pickled vegetable medley - everyone would stay in the common area of the barge talking, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company. In many ways, the tight and isolated quarters of barge life reminded me of January break when we are one of only a few teams on campus and all cram into one of the dorms to hang out. Similar to most team activities, it was hard to peel myself away from the festivities of the barge common room. I had to remind myself that even if the sun doesn’t sleep, I still have to.
In between this daily routine and sudden trips to the Arctic Ocean, old Russian gulags, or river banks full of mammoth bones, I did my best to remember my teammates who were working hard back home in order to motivate myself to find rare moments of free time to train. No doubt, hiking through the tundra is a workout, but to prepare for a NEWMAC championship, extra effort has to be put forth. I found that in the few days we spent docked next to the main science station in Cherskiy it was easier to get a “normal” workout in. Early mornings, I would get up and run along dirt roads near the station. Usually, a large swarm of mosquitoes motivated me to run faster just so I could get back to the bug-free sanctuary of the barge. In addition to running, I was able to spend some time shooting on the station’s hoop - by far the most beautiful setting I have every played basketball. Not being the only basketball enthusiast at the station - fellow student researcher Jess Eason played for Brown, where she recently finished her senior year - I was even able to get a game of pick-up in. It wasn’t a NEWMAC Championship game, but for everyone at the station, it might as well have been the NBA championship! Jess and I took on one of our advisors and the head Russian scientist at the station. It was a hard fought game that, on a cold and very windy day, went to the power players of John and Nikita. Let me just say though that Jess and I truly won in the end – however – because we were without any ankle or back pain the next day – unlike our older competitors.
Living in Siberia for a month was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. People who know me understand that a month full of exploring nature, conducting science, and being around really interesting people is my dream come true. And just like my teammates back home, I know that the people I met on this trip will be lifelong colleagues and friends. It’s safe to say I fell in love with the Arctic in the short time that I spent there and hope continue to explore and do research there. That being said, I have never been more excited to return to Norton, Massachusetts and spend time with my teammates - getting ready to give the NEWMAC everything we’ve got.
The barge afloat the Kolyma River on the way to the tundra.
A cloudy day on the tundra.
Fellow researchers hanging out in the common room of the barge.
Playing a game of horse on the hoops outside the main science station, "Orbita."
The crew after an instense game of 2-on-2.
The view from the research station on our last night Cherskiy.
SEVENTH ENTRY - #24 ALYSSA ALMARIO
It is awesome that I get to have my part of our team blog published the day after my birthday! My name is Alyssa and I will be a junior this coming semester. I cannot believe how fast my college experience is going. It’s crazy to say that I am an upperclassman now because I remember just being a little freshman who looked up to my teammates in the senior class now and the ones who have already graduated. It’s my turn to step up and be a leader to the incoming freshman class.
The last time you saw or heard from me I was probably crutching all throughout campus or doing rehab in our training room at Wheaton. It has been a rollercoaster ride for me ever since I tore my ACL and meniscus way back in February, but I am definitely on my way to my road to recovery. My family, friends, coaches and teammates’ support has been amazing and I am very appreciative of them for that. It makes me want to get back on the court that much more. I love hearing that my teammates have been putting in work this summer and getting better, but my summer workouts have been very different. I do physical therapy two to three times a week and I feel like I am getting stronger after each session. It is a grind, but it has only been four months since I got knee surgery. Once I get my knee brace I can start running so that is very exciting!
I would not let my knee problems ruin this summer for me. This has actually been one of the best summer vacations I have had in a while! First, I went to the Philippines with my aunt, uncle and cousin. The last time I went to the Philippines was in 2009 so it was nice visiting my homeland once again. We got to stay where my parents and all of my aunts and uncles grew up and it was a great experience. Life in the Philippines is definitely different since it is a third world country, but we adapted for the three weeks we stayed there. My favorite part of the vacation was visiting Boracay Beach. I love the clear blue waters and the white sand! It was very relaxing and such a beautiful site! We also visited Davao and Zamboanga City which are two cities I have never been to before. When I go to the Philippines I am used to seeing farmland, rice fields and caribou walking around. These two cities had buildings, traffic lights, more than one highway and tons of people walking the streets. It was a different site to see, but it was very fun as well. It is also always great being around family members and friends that I haven’t seen in years and even meeting some I had no idea about!
For the rest of the summer I have been mainly focusing on physical therapy, but I have also seen a lot of concerts. My favorite by far had to be Beyoncé and Jay Z. I have also made a lot of day trips with my family and friends to the Jersey Shore which is always a good time. Now, I am excited to go back to Wheaton and be reunited with teammates and friends. I cannot wait to see what my junior year has in store for me!
Basketball hoop at my mom's house in the Philippines. Not a regular ten feet hoop and no outlining for the backboard, but it will do!
My Uncle Ray just chilling as we leave Boracay on a speed boat.
A beautiful sunset in Boracay. Why would I ever want to leave?
Mass in Zamboanga City, Philippines.
First ever NBA Cafe in Manila, Philippines with my cousin Gilchrist!
My fellow Wheaton Lyons and I at the Beyonce and Jay Z concert!!
Family time in Atlantic City, N.J. with my mom, sister Ashley, and cousins Greg and Gilchrist!
SIXTH ENTRY - #14 REBECCA ARNONE
Rebecca Arnone here, I'm a junior this year for the Lyons. Wow, that's bizarre to say. I'm not much of a writer, but I don't mind talking, so bear with me people. For those of you who may not know, my family and I are from a small town in New Hampshire called Litchfield. My parents’ names are Phil and Barb, I have an older brother named Phil, and a twin sister named Melissa, and I know what you're thinking, but no we are not identical. Oh, I forgot to mention my grandparents, Jean and Phil, who live with my family for the summer and the month of December as well. Coming from a family where I'm the first generation to attend and hopefully, complete college, makes it strange to call myself a junior. I'm a little anxious to see how this year goes regarding both academics and athletics. The freshman to sophomore transition wasn't too bad, but I have a feeling sophomore year to junior year will be a little tougher.
I don't know about you guys, but I am incredibly excited for this year's basketball season. We have a great group of returners coming back, and what appears to me as a strong freshmen class coming in. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we are all excited to get everyone together and get down to business early in the fall. Some of us have actually been getting together and playing in some leagues together here and there throughout the summer! Speaking of basketball, I'm sure you all have heard and seen about Wheaton women's basketball’s participation in the Chillin for Charity Challenge. This happened last week during Wheaton's annual Hoop Mountain camp. If you haven't already seen the videos, please do so ASAP! (Watch it right here: Chillin for Charity Video)
Laura Pierce (senior), Bridget Nicholson (sophomore), Sophia Black (sophomore), Rebecca Oliveri (freshman), Sarah Fitzgerald (graduate) and myself ran the camp as camp counselors for the kiddos. It was a week-long of basketball, fun games, and laughs. I was sad to see camp end, because it meant I had to go back to real life...
Real life for me entails working a summer internship and a side job. I know that internships are typically done the summer before your senior year, but coach Hodgdon and Ben Chalot who is a part of Wheaton's academic advising career services motivated me to do it this summer, and I couldn't have been happier that they did so. I'm volunteering at a local child development center with children from ages 1 to 5. The children who attend the center have a wide range of abilities and the classrooms are separated by age levels. It's really interesting to see the development between the different ages, and it is something I may want to pursue as a career after I graduate. The side job that I do to earn some extra money for the summer is the one and only Dunkin Donuts. Yup, I run on Dunks. I guess the plus side is that I get free coffee? Anyways, it's just a summer job, and it hasn't been too bad for the summer. I enjoy who I work with and don't mind people, so it's a pretty nice fit. Well… it's getting late so I should probably get to bed for work in the morning... for anyone that is still reading, I hope this wasn't too long... and if it was, I hope it made you laugh a little.
A group photo of some of the campers!
This is my beautiful sister, Melissa. We went on a sporadic beach trip, and were surprised to see that sandcastles were being made! In the back is Olaf, Elsa, and the Trolls from Frozen!!
This is Jordan...he's 3...isn't he cute when he finally decides to smile...
FIFTH ENTRY - #11 KIRSTEN FERRARI
I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer and loving our blogs! My name is Kirsten (Kirt), I will be a senior next year. It’s weird to think that I will be graduating college next year, time really does fly when you’re having fun. My time at Wheaton has been amazing. I will definitely be sad to see it come to an end, but with the help of my team, family and friends it has been a great ride.
Unlike most seniors in college who get internships and jobs that will help them in their future after graduation, I decided to travel this summer. My cousin and roommate studied abroad in Australia during the spring semester. However, they got out of school later than I did, so my friend from high school and I decided to travel to Australia to visit them as well as some family friends.
Our first part of the trip was in Sydney, which was a very cool city! We did not spend many days in Sydney, but one of the coolest and scariest things that we did was climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge. For those of you who don’t know me I am HORRIFED of heights, so I am not quite sure why I agreed to do it. The only thing that I thought while climbing it was, “please just get me down!” Although I was terrified and thought the bridge was going to collapse while I was up there I would not change the experience that I had.
Our next stop was to Townsville, which was where my cousin and roommate were studying. This was not a touristy area so we spent a few days at the beach, went to the aquarium and did a lot of hiking. My favorite part of my trip was in Townsville where just about a twenty-minute ferry ride away from town was an island called Magnetic Island. We saw wild wallabies (they look similar to kangaroos but smaller) and a wild koala! It was so cool to see all the different animals especially wild ones. The views were unbelievable and the water was so blue! We were also lucky enough to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef! After about ten minutes of my friend and another girl on the trip trying to point out a ray to me, I finally figured out that what I was looking at was however, not a pile of sand on the bottom but… a ray! This was such a cool experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, my roommate and cousin were in finals so they spent the week studying, but were able to hike Magnetic Island with us and my cousin came out to the reef with us too. It was so nice to spend a week with my cousin and roommate after not seeing them for the past four months, especially in a different country!
Our final stop was to the Gold Coast where we had family friends staying. We spent these days in Surfer’s Paradise, which is a tourist area right on the beach. Most of my souvenir shopping was done here. We also went to the zoo where we got to hold a koala and pet kangaroos! I would love to have a pet kangaroo; they were so cute and laid back! It was great to see our family friends after two years and spend time with them. Unfortunately, our trip ended here which was very sad, two and a half weeks was not a long enough stay for me, I would have liked to spend a month maybe even two if I could have afforded it. Now I am home enjoying my time with my friends and family. Along with working out for basketball, I have been working at a couple of camps and babysitting here and there. Summer is almost over, unfortunately, so I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer and has enjoyed our blogs! Thanks for reading our blogs, stay tuned for more!
On top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge at night with the opera house lit up in the back.
Wild koala on Magnetic Island
View from one of the trails on Magnetic Island
Look how blue the water is out on the reef!
Hanging out with the kangaroos. Think Wheaton would let me have a pet kangaroo?
FOURTH ENTRY - #33 ABBIE BRICKLEY
There is a reason why coach has never asked me to write the blog... so do not compare me to my fellow teammate bloggers who have done an amazing job!! As I sit here and stare at this blank white page wondering what I’m going to write about, it dawned on me. Writing this blog reminds me of those late night homework sessions with my roommates. This feeling is bitter sweet because I am excited to come back to school, but at the same time I am not ready for my summer to end. This summer has been chaotic. I am working four jobs!! Last summer, I didn’t even have one job because I backpacked across Europe for a month, so this is definitely a wakeup call. My first job is my summer internship which is at the University of Utah Hospital. I am doing research with a doctor, along with shadowing fellows and PA’s. This internship has been awesome so far. I have not only learned a lot, but I also have started to figure out what I do and do not want to do after I graduate.
My second job is a hostess at a local brewery called Squatters. This job can be totally stressful at times, but I really enjoy the environment. You get to meet so many different people, and if you don’t know... I love to talk :)
For my third job, I am working at a barn. Most people would hate this job, but I don’t mind shoveling horse excrement and hanging fences. Working at the barn has shown me what “working for your money” really means. I come home filthy and exhausted every day. The worst part at the barn is not the hard labor, it’s the scary rooster named Stanley. I have been attacked by him three times! He comes flying at you with his claws first. One word: terrifying. I have also been bitten by a goat; that was an experience too. Lastly, my final job is working for my dad. My dad runs his own adult hockey league so I help him manage it by scorekeeping and inputting the stats online.
When I finally have free time you can find me horseback riding, hiking, boating and playing basketball, of course. The first weekend I was home, I went boating down at Utah Lake. The water was absolutely freezing and there was still snow in the mountains, but that didn’t stop me. Hiking this summer has been fantastic. I have found some new really awesome hikes that I wish I could bring the whole team on (I know Kenzie can agree with me on this one).
I think pictures are better than words, so to fill the rest of my blog space here are tons of pictures from my last summer of being an undergrad!
We took a night hike and this was our view of the valley and downtown Salt Lake City.
This is "my ocean." This lake is my favorite of all time and coincidentally it is called Rockport.
This is at my grandparents' house in Peoa, Utah where my horse lives. My great grandfather built this barn.
Look who came to Utah!! The beautiful Romans' family and Jeffy. We met up for lunch at the Brewery I work at.
My grandma is ready for the
Kentucky Derby :)
She is going to be 86 this year and is still the sassiest woman I know.
My beautiful mom!
This is my baby, Bobo.
Another hike I went on with my best friends (Ethan, Me, Amanda and my brother Daniel).
This is from the first weekend I got home when I went boating in Utah Lake. Look you can still see the snow on the mountains.
These last two pictures are of my handsome brothers! Daniel is 19 and Sam just turned 14. We are basically three peas in a pod :)
THIRD ENTRY - #15 LAURA PIERCE
I hope this blog finds everyone well since Kenzie posted. My name is Laura, or LP, as most of my teammates and coaches call me, and I am going to be a senior this year. This will be my fifth year here at Wheaton, as I missed my sophomore year due to an injury. As hard as it was to see both Stick and Fitz graduate in May, I am excited to get back to school in September and get the season started.
This week, as part of my summer internship, I have been down at Duke University. As I’ve gotten closer to graduation, I’ve really had to start thinking about what I want to do after I graduate, as do all my fellow seniors. I’ve always loved basketball and it’s always been a huge part of my life. Coaching has always been something that I’ve thought about, but as this past year progressed, it has become something I truly want to do. With that being said, the idea of doing a coaching internship originated last summer after talking to Coach Hodgdon.
So, on July 4th, I hopped on a plane in Boston and flew by myself for the first time down to Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. Michele Van Gorp, who served as my internship supervisor and played for Duke and in the WNBA, greeted me at the airport. While I was at camp, there were two different sessions. From July 5-8, there was an overnight camp that consisted of ages 10-17. From July 7-11 was Lil’ Hoopers, which ranged from kids ages 6-13. Both camps really gave me two completely different insights into coaching. During both camps, I served as assistant director. This role basically consisted of me helping out Michele in any way possible to make sure the camps were running as smoothly as possible. The cool thing about this was that I got to know my way around Cameron Indoor Stadium, the K Center (the team’s practice facility), Wilson center (which is more for intramurals), and Card gym (just another facility to use the courts). All of these, except for Card, was air conditioned, which was great for the heat down here. The fact that I was able to see all of these places was amazing. The first day I walked into the K Center and looked into the weight room and Coach K was in there lifting!
The first session of camp I was able to see how the different counselors coached their team, helped prepare for the second session of camp, and got to learn about the different aspects of Duke Basketball. The second session of camp proved a little more challenging for myself. The first day of camp overlapped with the first session so it was very hectic! I had to help coach a team for the first day and I had the very little kids ages 6-8. I haven’t always been known to be a very patient person, so this really helped me work on that. The rest of the week I just helped assist the counselors with their teams and make sure that all the kids were behaving and making it from gym to gym okay.
Overall, my experience down at Duke was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It helped me go outside my comfort zone and go down to a place where I didn’t know anyone. Everyone down at Duke was very welcoming and friendly; I felt comfortable right from the start. Of course, this whole experience couldn’t have been possible without the help of Michele Van Gorp, coach Hodgdon and Ben Chalot from the Filene Center. None of this would’ve happened without them, so thank you! My next week of camp will be at Wheaton from July 21-24 and then to Southern New Hampshire University the week after. Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of the teams’ posts!
Cameron Indoor Stadium
Coach P talking to the Lil' Hoopers
Trophy case for Duke Women's Basketball in the Hall of Fame
SECOND ENTRY - #4 KENZIE KUHN
It feels good to be blogging for the Lyons again. Some of you may remember when I blogged “Kenzie’s Korner” as a freshman at Wheaton. While I am no longer a doe-eyed freshman with three seasons and a knee surgery under my belt, the past three years have led me to love Wheaton more than I could have ever expected both as a player and a student. I am especially excited about this upcoming season not only because it will be my last, but also because of my great teammates I get to share it with. Luckily, you will be hearing from all of them at some point this year on our team blog!!
While the season may seem like a long time from now, preparation starts this summer. So far I have been lucky enough to spend the first part of my summer training in my hometown of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It is hard not being able to play pick-up with my teammates back on the East Coast, but I do my best to lift, sprint, and get games in at my old high school and also at the local park with some of the guys - anything to keep me in shape and on top of my game so I am ready in the fall.
On the weekends and during any free time I have, I enjoy getting outside and exploring the awesome mountains that I miss during the school year. My travels have led me to beautiful places such as Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming (as well as the beautiful trails in my own valley!).
This June, I have tried to get as much training and hiking in as possible because my stay in Colorado will be cut short when I leave at the beginning of July to go to Siberia. Yes, Siberia. And no, I am not being exiled. It’s by choice. I have been given the amazing opportunity to travel to Siberia and conduct field research as a member of the Polaris Team. The Polaris Project is an organization with the goal of studying the effects of climate change on Arctic Ecosystems. From the home station of a floating barge, I will be adventuring around the Arctic tundra developing and carrying out my own research project.
While my excitement to embark on this journey cannot be properly expressed by words, living on the tundra for a month with little to absolutely no contact back home poses some challenges. The workout facility, without having to be said really, is not quite like the one I have in Colorado. Some creativity will have to be put into staying in shape, something I owe to my teammates back home so we can have a great season. Communication will be minimal (much to my mom’s disliking), but my fellow Polaris team members and I will be able to post a blog every couple days on the progress of our research and our time in Siberia. To read these blogs and the ones we have already posted in preparation for the trip check out www.thepolarisproject.org. And keep checking this blog for updates from my teammates and their own summer adventures!
Make sure to check out the photos below as well.
My Dad and I after a race!
Some of the beautiful mountains back home.
My Mom and I.
Strength of the LYON is the PACK
Welcome to our 2014-2015 blog. We are using a new twist this season. We have had some outstanding individual bloggers but have decided this season to have each person put forth a blog entry so you will get insight from everyone’s perspective. I guess I will start with a quote :)
Now this is the Law of the
Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that
shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Rudyard Kipling
I believe this is my 23rd year of coaching college basketball, I will be honest, it is hard to keep track! Each year brings a new excitement for me and there is nothing I would rather do… well there is only one thing I would rather do and that would be putting on the jersey again as a student-athlete but the NCAA will not allow that.
This past week we have had five of our six first-year students on campus for CORE. Our entire campus did an amazing job with the programming. I especially loved the welcome session with Dean Williams, Provost Eisenmann and SAIL Director Andrea Holden. The highlight was the CORE leaders entering the stage to the Pharrell song “Happy” and doing a dance. It created a mood appropriate to kick off the 24 hours of CORE on a light hearted note.
Our returning players are all over the place this summer. Currently Kirsten ’15 is in Australia. Kenzie ’15 leaves for Siberia in a few weeks, Alyssa ’16 is in the Philippines working on her knee rehab, LP ’15 leaves for an internship with Duke women’s basketball in a week or so. Everyone else is home working, doing internships and getting excited to return in August. Our game schedule is set for 2014-15. We will go to Hawaii for the “Hoop-n-Surf” tournament, play a tough NEWMAC schedule and play some top-25 teams. I honestly hate the time off between March and October; I am chomping at the bit watching the NBA Spurs ball movement with excitement of what this team is capable of. I am also excited for the fall because we will start our mentoring with the local 7th grade girls and our work with Heller’s Angels will resume.
Until then, our mantra is to ”make today matter.” In everything we do we want to get better and make an impact. In honor of Sarah Fitzgerald ’14 and her blogging awesomeness, I have attached pictures from this past week on campus. Keep your eye on our blog for the next Lyon to post! Until then……
(Top left - Cow Duck and
friends, Top Right - CORE Leaders dancing, Bottom - Three of the
Super Six Freshmen)