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The sophomore diaries: A look into the women’s basketball family

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Grenfell is a sophomore public relations and management double major and can be contacted at carly.grenfell@drake.edu.

The relationships I have built thus far in my college basketball career are ones that I will treasure forever. If I didn’t have my teammates, I would honestly be lost. Not only are they there to pick you up when you’re down, but to push you when you need it most. It sounds sappy, cliché and cheesy, but nonetheless it’s the truth. Your teammates become far more than the people you practice and play with – they become family. And quite frankly, if you’ve never been part of a team, you have no idea how special it really is.

What is it that makes it so special?  There are a ton of reasons. But I believe the biggest of them is two-fold: I’m surrounded by a group of girls that are here for the exact the same reason I am, and together we will achieve or overcome everything that comes our way. Before I even arrived at Drake, I already had that support system built in. It’s automatic in that every player to step foot in our program is welcomed with open arms.  From then on, it’s just a matter of being around each other enough to build those tight-knit relationships. With the amount of time we spend together, it doesn’t take a whole lot to build that chemistry.

Whether we are sitting in Hubbell for hours on end, bonding on the bus to road games or chatting in the locker room before practice, the memories continue to build. Who would have thought the college cafeteria would be the hot spot for the women’s basketball team?  I have an explanation though- don’t mind if I do.  1) We are always starving.  A family dinner is prime bonding time; 2) We are all aware that post-Hubbell activity always calls for studying. These ever-dreadful duties simply trigger thoughts of, “the more time I spend here, the longer I can put off homework.”

There is probably a better way to say it than ‘we are forced to be friends,’ but essentially that is how it works.  The team aspect was a factor in all our decisions to play at Drake, but you don’t truly know how things will pan out.  You don’t truly know if you’ll like a certain person or not like another.  But when you have coaches that have high recruiting standards, and consistent standards at that, you will ultimately have a team that respects each other’s similarities and differences at all times.

When this happens, it’s easy to build relationships.  It’s easy to speak highly of your teammates. That’s why I don’t think twice when I call them my family.  One of these days we’ll all be attending each other’s weddings.  Sometimes the game of basketball is about more than just the game itself.  Scores and statistics only mean so much, but the memories and relationships last a lifetime.

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