Sunday, July 7
Hello from Tel Aviv, Israel! After a yearlong anticipation of heading to Israel to compete in the Maccabiah Games, the U.S. Open Women's Basketball team has arrived! The team is comprised of 11 very talented players from around the country. Most notably, we have Jackie Kalin, a two-time Jackie Stiles Player of the Year from Northern Iowa who will run the show for us; Alyssa Baron, an Ivy League First Team guard from Penn (she can flat out play); and Lauren Battista, a Division II All-American forward from Bentley (arguably the best D-2 kid in the country).
Our Training Camp (double days) begin today. We have 11 days to come together as a team, both on and off the court. Four years ago (the Games are held every four years in Israel) the Israeli's won the Gold, with the Americans taking home the Silver. I will be reminding the team of that this morning. We have our work cut out for us!
In four days, our training will scale back to one morning practice with the rest of the day dedicated to touring the country. For many of the players this is their first time in Israel. Beyond winning the Gold Medal, the educational and spiritual experiences they will gain from this month in Israel will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will be updating you all as the weeks unfold. Although I am missing our babies back home (NAU's 8 freshmen are on campus taking summer classes and taking Flagstaff by storm) I will enjoy spending this month in my homeland hanging out with 11 incredible young women. GO USA!!