Dec. 29, 2005
Throughout the season an Illinois women's basketball player will post her thoughts on fightingillini.com in a weekly blog. This week, freshman Danielle Gratton discusses the Christmas break, the Big Ten season opening up, the Illini "family" and classes, or lack thereof.
Women's BasketBlog - Dec. 29, 2005 - Danielle Gratton
As the famous Kit Kat song says, "Give me a break". That's just what we got for Christmas. We enjoyed a luxurious four-day get a way to a destination of our choice. Of course all of us decided to reside to the most exotic place we know of, home. Okay so not that exotic, but it was filled with lots of reminiscing and that special holiday cheer, not to mention some amazing food. It was a time for us to supposedly "get away from basketball", which, if you don't know me, is close to impossible for me. In fact, I jumped at the opportunity to revisit my high school basketball team. I even spent Christmas evening watching Dwayne Wade posterize another innocent bystander (some people just need to learn to get out of his way). I just can't seem to go on without basketball!
So for four days the Illini family parted ways. The best part of my break, go ahead and call me a sap, was on Christmas day. My cell phone was flooded with text messages from my teammates wishing me a Merry Christmas in their own special way. I think the award for best text message over break was Erin Wigley`s. It was just nice to know that even when we just spent months together day in and day out, we would still take a time out and wish each other in the "Illini family" a Merry Christmas. It's just nice to be a part of a team that cares for one another. I could definitely get used to it for the next couple years.
After the four-day break it was back to Champaign. I had the pleasure of riding back from O'Hare airport with Audrey Tabon (a fellow hardcore Steeler fan, haha). Which always makes for an entertaining trip. The next morning it was right back in the swing of things, practice at 10 and then just in case we hadn't had enough, we enjoyed another mini practice at 3:30. Just like that we started our preparation for Michigan. Just like that Big Ten play was a couple days away. And just like that it was time for the main part of our season to start. It has been crazy how the year has flown by. As the year 2005 is coming to a close it's difficult to imagine where I was in the beginning of the year.
For the current freshmen, the year 2005 started with us being seniors in high school and experiencing our "lasts" - our last homecoming, our last high school basketball game, or if you're Chelsea Gordon your last state championship. As the year went on we started experiencing our firsts. Our first summer away from home, our first preseason, our first dorm room, our first road trip, and now our first Big Ten conference game. Needless to say we are all very excited.
We're refreshed and ready. Ready to start putting a meaning behind the name that's on the front of our shirt. Ready to take what's ours. And ready to go out there and once again put everything we got on that court. One of our team goals is to play with no regrets. It's something that Megan Nyquist voiced at one time or another. It's a pretty genius concept to have and an even better goal. It's a goal that not only can be applied to basketball, but to life. With whatever you do, have no regrets. Whether it be in sports, school, or competitive scrap-booking, do it with no regrets.
Classes right now are going great. It is very challenging and I've had a perfect attendance so far. Okay, you got me, we are still on winter break - which means we won't have classes till January 16th!! Yes, I know very exciting, but I do miss all the reading and work...yeah not so much. So what do we do all day? Besides basketball, we eat!! Erin McCarthy always makes sure before we part ways that we know what time we will be meeting up again to eat. Got to love her for it! So I guess its true what they say--we eat, sleep, and play basketball!
As I draw my blog to a close, I would just like to say that this team right now is on to something great and to be a part of it goes beyond words. So until I write again, Go Illini!
Oh and by the way...I thought it would be fun to leave you with a quote after each blog, some will be funny and others inspirational. This is a quote I made up myself:
"Why is common sense referred to as common when amongst people it is so rare?"
Think about it and embrace it!
Danielle Gratton #35