Catching Up With Coach J

Oct. 28, 2008

Hello Husky Fans -

It's finally here!! The day we've been waiting on for quite some time has finally arrived...the official start of our 2008-2009 season has officially begun! We had our Tip-off Event and Sneak Preview showcasing the early phases of the Huskies, both within our first week. We have had eight official practices and I have so much to tell you so let's just dive right in!

The Staff...
Recruiting is the name of the game, and that is just what we have been doing this past month - bringing young student-athletes to Seattle and our glorious university to experience firsthand how great it is to be a Husky.

But one of the most exciting events in the past month was the first official practice. After months of anticipation, we were able to get back on the court with our players, teaching them those necessary tid-bits to be successful in both basketball and life. Some of you witnessed this with your own eyes on October 17th, as close to 100 season ticket holders were in attendance at our Sneak Preview. While some rust had to be knocked off in that initial practice, I hope those of you there saw how excited the team is to start a new season! It's so refreshing to see 15 athletes united and dedicated to being the best they can be.

While I'm on the topic of the start of the season, mark your calendars for Sunday, November 16th at 2 p.m.! This is the date of our season opener against in-state rival Gonzaga. Before this game we host two exhibition games: Love and Basketball (Tuesday Nov. 4th, 7 p.m.) and Corban College (Monday Nov. 10th, 7 p.m.) Below is a link to our complete schedule. Your support means so much to the growth of our program so please come out and cheer the Huskies to victory!

2008-09 Husky Women's Hoops Schedule

In the Community...
At the beginning of the month, we participated in the Seattle Walk for Hope, a breast-cancer fundraiser and awareness event held at Magnuson Park. Among the hundreds of volunteers there were members of our team who contributed by passing out free root beer floats to people who participated in the Walk.

It is important to our program that we volunteer and do positive things in the community. This was just one of many volunteer projects the Huskies have been involved in recently, including our monthly visits to the Seattle Children's Hospital.

The Team...
The team was excited to finally be able to trade their running shoes in for high top sneakers and hit the court. But there were a couple of fun events in the week leading up to that first official practice. First, both the men's and women's basketball teams served as entertainment for the annual Tip-Off gathering. After an introductory session, the voice of the Huskies, Steve Sandmeyer, asked team members an array of questions that kept the crowd in stitches! Later in the program seniors Michelle Augustavo and Heidi McNeill asked Coach Payne about her time as a Husky athlete. The event, which kicked off the season for Husky donors of the program, was a great and perfect prelude to what is guaranteed to be an exciting year for the Huskies.

For the team's last day of conditioning we decided to make it one of the toughest ever. There were no pushing cars or running line drills, instead everyone piled in their cars and went for an excruciating workout in a bowling alley (wink, wink). With so many new faces, this was a great way to see the ladies' personalities shine away from athletics. We broke into four teams and competed in a little 'October Madness.' While my team was not triumphant (I'm saving my W's for later!), a good time was had by all. It turns out that Coach Spoelstra is quite the bowler, bowling a game high 178!! Who knew?!?

In the short time we've been on the court, I've already seen much improvement in the team. The newcomers are catching on to both our offensive and defensive principles, while the returners are polishing up what was learned last year and helping the less experienced along the way. The mix of veterans and newcomers come to practice each day eager to learn and grow as players. With each stride that is made, I grow more and more fired up for the upcoming season. No comment can be more true than, 'EVERYDAY IS A GREAT DAY TO BE A HUSKY!!!!'

See you at the Bank, and GO DAWGS!!

Coach J
Head Coach
UW Women's Basketball




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