At least one student-athlete from each Association school will blog about a UAA basketball road weekend this season.
Fran Sweeney, Emory University
In my four years as an Emory basketball player, I have truly enjoyed being a part of this competitive, accomplished, and unpredictable league. The UAA has provided me with some of my most memorable life moments, and I am so thankful for that.
This past weekend was my last travel trip as an Emory athlete. As I think back on all the travel trips I’ve taken, it is not the actual travel that makes them so special – it’s the people. Of course, it’s a unique opportunity to fly to our games and see new places. However, these opportunities would be nothing without the teammates that accompany us. This trip was no exception.
We left campus early on Thursday morning, eager to see each other and aware of the mission that stood before us. Once through security, we spent time laughing and hanging out by our gate. We usually mess with Coach Kim (an extremely common hobby of ours) and stock up on snacks for the plane ride. This time, some of my teammates met David Robinson, aka “The Admiral,” while he was passing through the Atlanta airport. Allison (Chernow) kept bragging about how he “wished her luck.” We kept telling her not to let it get to her head.
However, once we arrived in St. Louis, it was strictly business because we headed straight to practice. After we returned to the hotel and had a quick film session, it was time for team dinner. As usual, the coaches had to tell us to settle down because we get loud when reenacting that time Hazel (Carmona) knocked Coach T on her butt running through a screen, or when Lindsey (Tse) came to the realization that a grilled cheese sandwich was actually a grilled, cheese sandwich. Long story. Before we knew it, it was time for lights out.
Game day tends to have a more serious atmosphere – we started with film, breakfast, and shoot-around. After a good stretch down, we headed back to the hotel for some down time and our pregame meal. Once the game was over, we had our traditional social with WashU and watched the rest of the men’s game.
Saturday was long because most of it was spent on the road, but after practice at UChicago, we headed back to the hotel for another team dinner. After dinner, we were given some free time to explore Chicago together. After a traditional stop at Garrett’s for popcorn, we went to Portillo’s to get one of their famous “Chocolate Cake Shakes.” And yes, it is as amazing as it sounds. When we got back to the hotel we all piled into Shellie’s (Kanuit) room and watched The Proposal, drank our cake shakes, and repeatedly played the viral “Cash Me Oussside” video remix. Then just like that, it was lights out.
The first item on Sunday’s agenda was a focused film session, although it started with a laugh. There was only one working elevator in the hotel so in order to make it to film in time, most of us left our rooms 30 minutes early. Shue (Ashley Oldshue) was certain that was too much time. However, she ended up waiting for the elevator for 12 minutes before picking up the whole men’s team on her way down. She anxiously stormed into film late with four full bags of fruit, disheveled, and out of breath. Everyone was sympathetic, but we also couldn’t help but address the humor of the situation.
Talking about it later, Misha (Coach Misha Jackson) compared her face, outfit, and attitude to a “mom who had a long day at work, stopped at the grocery store on her way home, and says to her impatient family ‘EVERYONE RELAX, THE FOOD IS ON THE TABLE.’” When the rest of the food arrived, we all huddled into my room for “breakfast in bed,” scarfing down our meals in under 10 minutes. To avoid a "Shue at film situation," we all left our rooms with plenty of time to leave for the game.
As I sit here in the airport and finish writing this blog post, I can’t help but think about all the travel trips I have been a part of over my four years as an Emory basketball player. I will always remember them not only for the wins and losses, but also for the memories that I created with my teammates. I truly believe that these trips have the ability to create and solidify the bonds we will have together for the rest of our lives. I am so grateful for that.
Fran Sweeney, a senior guard, ranks in the top-10 all-time in the Emory women's basketball program in three-pointers and three-point field goal percentage. She ranks sixth in UAA play this season with 1.7 three-pointers per game.