Catching Up With Coach J

April 24, 2008

Hello Husky Fans-

'April showers bring May flowers'...there has been some rain in Seattle this past month, but as we roll into May the cherry blossoms are springing to life all along Lake Washington. Similarly, our Husky Family has undergone some changes this month, but we have weathered the storm and will continue to blossom and grow!

The Staff...

April began with our staff flying cross-country to Tampa, FL for the 2008 Women's Final Four and Women's Basketball Coaches Association National Convention. This year's convention kicked-off with a 4Kay Run to honor North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow and benefit cancer research through the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. Some of our staff participated in the event and the turnout was phenomenal! Our hearts go out to Coach Yow and all the women and families whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.

Our days in Tampa were filled with business meetings, listening to coaches from across the country speak on various topics and 'talking shop' with some of the best in the business as we learn new ways to teach and coach the game of basketball.

Following our return to Seattle we were back on the recruiting trail to seek out future Huskies with the skills and passion to contribute to Washington basketball. We are thrilled about the most recent addition to our Husky family in 5-6 point guard Nicole Romeo from Adelaide, South Australia. Nicole's experience and accomplishments - most notably winning the 2007 Merv Harris Medal, awarded to the best women's U-21 player by the Australian Basketball Association - combine to make her a fantastic compliment to our team.

The Team...

The team celebrated the 2007-2008 season with family, friends and fans at our annual women's basketball banquet held April 16 at the Don James Center in Husky Stadium. The evening gave us time to reflect on the season and honor the seniors who have given so much to this program. Senior point guard Emily Florence received Most Valuable Player honors as well as a fourth-straight Defensive Player of the Year honor which she shared with fellow senior Andrea Plouffe. In addition, Emily received the Big Dawg Award (given to the team's top rebounder), the 101 Club Scholar Athlete Award, a third-straight Lions Club Assists Award, and was named the Kayla Burt Most Inspirational Player. Sophomore Sami Whitcomb received the Heart and Hustle Award and the Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award, while freshman Kali Bennett was deemed the Most Improved Player for the 2007-08 season.

I would like to thank everyone who dedicated the enormous time and effort required to make our banquet a success. To the family and friends in attendance and to those who couldn't be with us that evening, thank you for your endless loyalty and support of the young women who make this program the PRIDE of the West! Emily Florence will graduate with a degree in communications, Dominique Banks with a degree in American Ethnic Studies, Andrea Plouffe with a degree in sociology, and senior manager Ashley Cann will receive her degree in business and begin work with Boeing following graduation. Seniors, we will miss you and we will continue to make you proud to call yourselves Huskies!!

And NOW...

Individual workouts began last week and each player is hard at work to strengthen their weaknesses and improve their strengths! These workouts are truly 'individualized' as each player spends three 40-minute sessions per week with four coaches going through a workout specified to improving their game. In addition to individuals the team is playing pick-up, lifting, and enjoying assorted forms of conditioning.

I am a big fan of quotes, and as such I would like to close by saying to everyone 'our best is yet to come!' Thank you for tuning in, and GO DAWGS!

Coach J
Head Coach
UW Women's Basketball