Jul 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
It started-off around 8:00 am with the set-up and walk through of the Fit Clinic. I was among eight interns helping out, and we actually got to be the coaches in the Clinic. We each had stations/drills where we were going to teach the 150 kids that were coming. There were also eight All-Star players helping us out as well. So we got paired up with one. My station was definitely the hardest one there. It was basically three drills in one. It was a box run to lunges to push ups! Quite a workout for 7-14 year olds, hahaa! I was originally paired up with basketball legend Jennifer Azzi, the WNBA Cares Ambassador, but she was also co-running the whole thing, so WNBA All-Star Izzy Castro Marques of the Atlanta Dream helped out. She was so much fun to work with and you could really tell she enjoyed working with the kids. Tina Charles was also there, as well as Cappie Pondextor, Crystal Langhorne, and Angel McCoughtry, just to name a few. The highlight besides getting to work with the All-Stars was meeting Donna Orender who is the President of the WNBA. She was extremely friendly and outgoing, and I was so excited to finally get to meet her. All of us ended up getting to take a picture with Donna and the players, and then with all of the kids.
After the Clinic, we had a little down time before the open practices, so we had lunch. After that we actually got to watch a little of the USA's closed practice before it was open to the public. That was really cool to see how USA coach Geno Auriemma really runs his practices. Before they opened the practice I also helped out with setting up for the food bank collection. Open practice was free to the public, but fans were encouraged to bring in cans of food as a donation. After that, we were able to watch the practices.The USA practice ran smoothly and you could really see the hard work by all the players.
When the clinic was over, we had more rehearsals for the intros for the game. We actually got to be the players during the walk-through, and run out onto the court, about 10 times, and stand where they were for the real game. I got to be Katie Douglas! It was pretty cool! We also ran through the skills challenge and three-point contest. That was a lot of fun! After that we were able to leave and luckily I got to stay over in the hotel!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
This was the day we had all been waiting for, game day. It all started at 9:00 am with a few more rehearsals. Then we basically just set up the concourse and rolled a few tee-shirts before we got set for the skills challenge. At this time, I knew I was going to be right in all for the action because I volunteered to be at one of the ball racks for the challenge and for the 3-point contest. Before the skills challenge started, the players participating in it warmed up/practiced all of the obstacles. This is when I really got to interact with the players. It was a lot of fun because I was at the rack where they had to pass the ball through the target. I got to talk a little bit with Lindsey Harding, Lindsay Whalen, and my favorite was Renee Montgomery, who actually ended up winning the whole thing! She was really funny and practiced the passing part the majority of the time. After the challenge was the 3-point contest, which I was in charge of the very first ball rack that was located right in front of the bench where all of the players were. It was so amazing to be there. I was able to hear what all of the players were saying and see the action perfectly. I was probably the only one who heard Sue Bird say that she wasn't ready for the contest, I just laughed. Katie Douglas actually ended up winning the event.
After that, it was warm-up time for the players and we waited for clock to run down, so we could set up the tarp and everything for the intros. Our job there was just to run out with the tarp and pull it down so the players could run on in it, and the fans could see the video projected on the tarp. It was all so neat because I was literally on the court the same time they were. Following that, it was game time, and it went by all so fast. I ended up not seeing a lot of the game because I was working with a couple other interns at the silent auction we were having, but it was an overall unreal experience being there. It was literally all of the best players in the world on one court! It was a long few days but every minute was worth it. I live for this type of stuff!