Jun. 26, 2017
One Sport, One Bucket List, Endless Opportunities
I’m a list person. I can get a lot of thoughts going through my head at one time and, even though I have a pretty good memory, I always feel like I would forget something if it’s not written down. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, lists of goals and an always-expanding bucket list. I also made a list just to pack my things and make my way to Australia! In order to get here with a successful basketball and summer wardrobe, I had to make sure I had everything!
I heard nothing but great things about Adelaide before I started my journey here. My agent told me about it being rated one of the top places to live in the world (with a cozy 1.3 million other people), one of the safest, having absolutely beautiful weather, and he said he rated the WNBL as a solid league and Coach Lucas among the best he had ever worked with. The last part being the most helpful towards one of my goals: to get back into a WNBA training camp for a shot to play in the States again. He also had a pretty good feeling, at the time I signed, that we would have Laura Hodges playing on the team (also not a bad selling point to have a four-time Olympian on the roster).
Now, a couple things actually have panned out the way that we thought. We knew we were up for a challenging season in the result column, with our club budget and with the young group we had coming together. Because of this, Coach knew we needed to bring in the right people, with the right mindset to endure the adversity we were sure to face, in such a talented league. This is exactly what he has done, which is a testament to the kind of man and coach that he is.
Our group has been amazing in a multitude of ways. Without much resulting in the win column, the hard work and dedication has been unwavering. The resiliency and positivity in the day-to-day would never hint our record. Practices are just as intense as preseason, even without the chance of playing for a playoff spot this year. There are many players who have their every day jobs before and/or after workouts and trainings. Some days lifting or shooting at 6 am, going to a full day of work, only to come straight to practice directly after they are done.
Due to this dedication, we have made huge strides in playing together. We have competed more than I think many teams would have given us credit for at the beginning of the year. I truly believe we have earned the respect of the teams throughout the league, which is another thing we wanted to prove, especially after our unexpected double away game sweep in early January at Melbourne and Dandenong.
I would say the one thing that hasn’t gone as expected is the amount of rain we’ve gotten since I’ve been here! I continue to be told: “this never happens here,” “this is so weird,” or “I’ve never seen it like this before.” Only the coming time will tell to see if they’re all telling the truth ?.
The weather most often here is still beyond beautiful, especially to a Wisconsin girl, when I am missing the coldest winter months, while I get to be in the hottest summer ones! Being in warm weather and in Australia has helped me check off a couple of things from my bucket list!
-I was on of one of the longest flights in the world from Dallas to Sydney (not exactly pre-written on the bucket list, but pretty cool to say you’ve done nonetheless!)
-Travel to each continent
-Put my feet in every ocean
-Cliff jumping - at Second Valley
-Swimming with dolphins
Now some of my favorite spots to add to and check off yours whenever you’re in or near Adelaide:
-50 six one - house of specialty shakes and desserts... self explanatory
-Gorge Wildlife Park (or any other sanctuary) - where you can feed kangaroos and hold a koala, along with seeing other Australian animals
-Glenelg - with a beautiful beach and all sorts of shops, restaurants and bars to try
-Aldinga - the drive-up beach is just something you can’t miss!
-Mount Lofty- you can climb it (or cheat and drive up to the top) to see one of the best views of the city
Don’t forget your slang dictionary (or your manners, when you’re asking over and over again what the heck they are saying)!