July 29, 2008
Hello Huskie Fans,
We did it! After beating home team Argentina, 81-37, we successfully completed our mission and finished 5-0. Not to mention we are heading home with a gold medal. I am so excited for USA Basketball, and I must say I feel a sense of achievement. Words cannot begin to express how far this team has come since the first day of training camp. We are a gold medal team, and that is something that they can cherish for the rest of their lives. I know I will!
Playing in front of the home crowd was exhilarating. They never stopped cheering for their team and it made for a very fun environment. After the game was over and they awarded the medals, there was a Brazilian type carnival. They had dancers and drums and all sorts of fun celebration activities. The team enjoyed the celebration and were treated like rock stars by the other teams and fans. They wanted anything they could get their hands on that had USA Basketball on it. Some of our players traded gear with members of other teams and a couple of our players left the gym without shoes on! It was crazy but a good type of crazy. You would have thought the Beatles were in town or something. I guess we are kind of a big deal....LOL
All of this probably won't truly sink in until I am home, but watching Kelsey Bone shed a few tears while accepting her gold medal hit me hard and let me know this was for real. Hearing our national anthem in a foreign country is also an experience I will never forget. The sense of pride I felt was overwhelming, and I am so grateful that I could help represent our country and bring home the gold!
Today, we are able to go site seeing and shopping one last time before we get on our flight and head home. I am so excited to get back to the USA and go recruiting for the final three days of the July evaluation period. I am flying into Atlanta, Ga., and then driving to North Augusta, S.C. to go to Nike Nationals. It will be great to see a few of our recruits, as I have missed most of the July recruiting period.
I hope you have enjoyed reading these blogs and was able to get a feel for the awesome experience I just had. Although I had an amazing trip, I am ready to get back to NIU and see my team and staff! It is hard being away from them this long but winning gold made it all well worth it!
See you all very soon and Go Huskies!