Sunday, April 5, 2009 | 10:17 a.m.
- Gateway to the Final Four (4-4-2009)
Editor's Note: Former Durango High basketball standout Lindy La Rocque is a freshman guard at Stanford University. She will blog for the Las Vegas Sun about her experiences at the women's NCAA Final Four in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS -- Today (Saturday) has been an experience of what they say the Final Four is all about. We woke up earlier than normal to go to the State Farm All-America Team Award presentation. My teammate (and roommate for this trip ) Jayne Appel was named to the team so we all went to support and cheer for her.
The next event on our schedule was open practice at the Scottrade Center. The whole week my teammates have told me that open practice was one of the best but most nerve-wracking parts of the Final Four.
How it works is that we have a one-hour practice and shoot-around while thousands of people watch us. Open practice is the time when everyone says they realize that they are at the Final Four. It is definitely true!
After practice our team had an autograph signing session. We sat behind a long row of tables while posters of our team were passed down the line. We all signed and passed, like an assembly line, as people walked in front taking pictures and talking to us. I felt like a celebrity! It was great. After the first couple of posters, however, my long name turned into about four letters with a scribble and the number 15 -- my jersey number -- after. It was so much fun and the team enjoyed talking with fans.
When we got back to the hotel we had some time to hang out before dinner. My dad was nice enough to buy a cool T-shirt. At the end of dinner, former Stanford players joined us for ice cream. Meeting and hanging out with the alumnae was really great. We sat in a big circle and they shared with us their thoughts and feelings about our team and our game against UConn. They are so supportive and motivating it’s amazing. I can’t wait ‘til I am an alumna and I come back to the Final Four to watch the future teams.
That’s about it for today. I had a great day, and tomorrow (Sunday) is going to be even more exciting! We are ready and prepared for the game and I can’t wait to just go out there and play hard and have fun. Check back in tomorrow for my pregame routine.