July 10, 2008
Check out all the "Posting Up" entries HERE
All-American center Jenna Smith will be keeping Illini fans up-to-date on Illinois basketball this summer. In the second installment of "Posting Up," Smith talks about working camp, getting to know the new freshmen and the always important summer workouts.
First Part of Summer Down
When I first came back to campus in June it was nice to see everyone and it was time to work camp. I like working camp and seeing all the little girls play ball and just work hard. It always reminds me that I should of started playing basketball earlier instead of the 6th grade. Camp is always fun - free food and a chance to spend quality time with the girls that come to our games! Everyone that came and supported us, THANK YOU!
Meeting the new freshman and picking on them is always a blast! ;) I cooked for them one night and they said it was good, but who knows if they were telling the truth. I do know that they're a great bunch of girls! As we started training and playing pick up, I realized that our team is very small in numbers. A couple of the girls aren't on campus for the summer so sometimes we barely have enough people to play pick up.
Workouts are still demanding as ever but I know they're making us better. When we're out on the track running 400's and 800's in the blazing sun you think to yourself, why do I play this sport? But after that I look at all my teammates giving their all just as I am and I realize that they want to win just as bad as I do. Every time I want to quit I think about when we lost to Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament championship game by just one shot. One shot that would have let us go to the NCAA tournament and would have sent the seniors off with something great. That's what keeps me going.
I hate to admit it, but I have to give the freshman credit. They are hanging in there with the running and the tough schedule. Freshmen Fabiola Josil and Macie Blinn always think they can beat us older girls. We just laugh at them and shake our heads. I always tell Fab, just because you might be faster then me, doesn't mean your going win. So last week we did a competition day - it was Macie, Fab and Lydia McCully versus Lacey Simpson, Lana Rukavina and I. We had to make 100 shots, do a 100 push up and 100 sit-ups all as a team. Then we had to go run 1 mile and come back and do an obstacle course. The freshmen were talking trash saying that they were going beat us. Lacey and I were laughing, knowing `we got this'. We had to have a team huddle and tell Lana you will not lose to your class. We will not lose!!!!! So we ended up beating them REALLY EASILY and we told the freshman maybe they should get stronger before dealing with us! ;)
4th of July
4th of July was a time for everyone to get out of Champaign and relax. Pretty much everyone from the team went somewhere. Lydia and I decided to take a trip to Minnesota with one of our friends. Eight hours in a car was a long time! Lydia and my other friend have never been to Minnesota and they thought it was a boring place. How can the place with the biggest mall in America be boring?!?! I took Lydia to the Taste of Minnesota and took her by the bridge that collapsed. Then I took her to the mall and she went crazy. TAX FREE! I love that mall. The trip back was horrible. We got stuck in traffic and it ended up taking us 10 hours to get back! Still, it was a great 4th of July!
Besides the trip and the freshman trying to challenge us everything is good. We're still enjoying picking on Coach Law about how short she is and just having fun with each other.
Hope everyone had a great 4th! I will be writing more later!
Jenna Smith #13