Postcard from Paradise: Lauren Flores
Nov. 25, 2009
Hello from paradise,
After a long day of travel yesterday, we finally arrived in St. Thomas for the 2009 Paradise Jam Tournament. Since most of us felt like we were playing in front of a home crowd last week against UConn in San Antonio, this is our first `real' road trip of the season. We're going to be playing three games in three days, and each is against great competition.
Let me tell you a little about yesterday, first. We met on campus at 3:45 a.m. to leave for the Austin airport. From there, we caught our first flight to Atlanta at 5:40 a.m., and after a quick layover, we were in the air for a nearly four hour flight to the Virgin Islands. But, we didn't spend the entire flight catching up on sleep. Instead, we had study hall for two hours. Even though we're here in St. Thomas and focusing on basketball, we can't forget that finals are just around the corner. Coach G takes academics very seriously, and she makes sure we never forget the importance of excelling in the classroom.
After we landed, we headed straight for practice at the University of the Virgin Islands. This was a BIG difference compared to what we are used to at The University of Texas. The gym is much smaller - it seats about 3,000 people - but it should make for a very exciting game experience. I bet some of us played in high school gyms that held more people than this gym does, but none of our high schools were in such exotic locations, either!
Today has been another busy day in paradise. We started off with breakfast overlooking the ocean, and then we practiced in a nearby high school gym. After a quick break, our entire travel party got to take a catamaran out in the ocean for some snorkeling and swimming. Later tonight, we're taking a gondola ride up one of the mountains for a Paradise Jam welcome party. This seems like a really great event put on by Basketball Travelers, International, and we're all thankful to be here over Thanksgiving.
Showtime for us starts tomorrow against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. CT. Following that, we take on University of Southern California on Friday night (7 p.m.), and last on Saturday its Rutgers (7 p.m.).
We have a tough schedule ahead of us but I know that we are mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming games. Wish us the best of luck!
Hook `em Horns,