Catching Up With Coach J
Oct. 11, 2007
Hello Husky Fans -
After a two month absence from 'The Buzz' I am eager to share all that has taken place since my last entry. We have been BUSY!! There is far too much to tell in the short time I have with you, but I'll try and cover the big things so you have some insight regarding what the Huskies have been up to.
Back in September I rounded out my staff with the addition of Betsy Butterick as our video coordinator. Betsy joins our Husky family after spending the WNBA season as the equipment manager for the Seattle Storm. Betsy's experiences as a player in addition to having tremendous mentors in Coach Tara VanDerveer (at Stanford) and Anne Donovan (Seattle Storm, 2008 Olympic Coach) provides a solid foundation for her start here at Washington. Betsy brings enthusiasm, energy and a well-rounded perspective to this program. Having spent time with the Seattle Storm and Stanford, she provides some great insight and understanding about the game. She will play a huge role in our scouting, highlight and motivational video production throughout the season, and her effort is one that greatly benefits our program.
These past two months have been packed with extensive travel as our staff scoured the country for future Huskies who possess the desire to continue our transformation into the PRIDE OF THE WEST! Our travels included some wonderful home visits; one of my favorite experiences to have with recruits. To be able to spend quality time with future Huskies and their families off the court is something I cherish. I'll tell you that with as many home-cooked meals as I've had in the past month, I am well prepared to hibernate in the gym through the fast-approaching Seattle winter.
In late September freshman Jessica McCormack returned to New Zealand to play with the national team in the FIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Series, Dunedin. The NZ Tall Ferns earned the Oceania zone berth to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing by finishing as runners-up to world champion Australia. Jess performed very well and we are excited to have her back in Washington! Jess' international experience adds a certain depth and perspective to her game, which in turn is an incredible asset for our team.
At 6 AM on September 15 we kicked off the official start of pre-season with a six mile hike up Tiger Mountain. As the first few players bounded into the trees I couldn't have foreseen just how steep the climb would be-My Goodness!!! As we forged upward through the morning fog the stones loosened by our feet would tumble down, and just kept going. An hour later our sweet reward was a breathtaking view and the knowledge that we had conquered the mountain together. I huddled the team and told them to get used to being on top...and that in order to accomplish things we've never seen or done we must often venture the road less traveled.
In addition to our hike the players have pushed through an array of swimming, spinning, and on-court conditioning workouts. We aim to be the best conditioned team in the Pac-10 and with the dedication the players have shown thus far we are well on our way! Swimming, Running, Biking... (Hmm, maybe look for a Husky Triathlon in the Spring?) After a month of excellent effort, our pre-season conditioning will culminate this Thursday, October 11 in our own version of the Amazing Race :o)
Official practice begins this Friday at 7pm and we couldn't be more excited!! Since pre-season began one month ago our players have been working tirelessly on the court and in the weight room to prepare for the challenges of the season. During the pre-season we are allowed two hours of practice a week and we have spent that time emphasizing our defensive philosophy. While not everyone is 100% just yet, those on our injured reserve list have made incredible progress toward rehabbing their way back to full-strength.
As the final count-down to the season begins I am more convinced than ever that this is going to be a special season. We hope that you will join us on the journey that is Husky Women's Basketball as we work each day to become the Pride Of The West!
It's a great day to be a Husky!
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