Monday, May 30, 2011

The Air Force Academy!

Today Dad and I went to the Air Force Academy. We weren't able to see the whole campus due to heightened security following the death of Bin Laden. We still got to take in many of the breathtaking views at the academy. The Academy is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and today the weather was great. Granted it was a little windy, but you should expect that when in the mountains. Cadet Chapel was amazing, and we got to see many retired war planes. We had a great time at one of the nation's finest academic institutions.

Our bags are packed for tomorrow in order for us to be at the airport by five in the morning. Bye bye Colorado! It's been fun!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak!

Today Dad and I experienced Memorial Day Weekend Tourism in the Springs.

We began by driving to the entrance of Pike's Peak highway. We had decided to drive for $12 a piece as opposed to taking the cog railway for $34 a piece. The highway was only open to mile 13 of 19 due to wind gusts on the summit. We decided to come back in order to get our money's worth out of the drive.

So, we went to Garden of the Gods, a park full of amazing rock formations. Did I mention that it was free? Even better! Here is my favorite formation... Kissing camels.

After Garden of the Gods I was quite hungry; so, I chose to go to Adam's Mountain Cafe. At first Dad and I were a bit skeptical of the place, but once we got our food we quickly changed our minds. I had a very large portion of lasagna, while Dad had a huge turkey burrito. Trust me, it was great! The food is prepared from scratch for each customer at Adam's.

We were finally able to go to Pike's Peak, all the way to the summit of 14,110 ft. We started at 7,750 ft. We traveled through four different life zones on our way to the top. I was terrified for the whole entire trip; there was absolutely no guardrail to keep you from falling thousands of feet! At the summit the temperature was around 30 degrees F, and the wind gusts were wild. Dad and I struggled to keep our footing. In all honesty, we weren't too impressed by the Peak. I guess it's just something that we can say we've done.

Tomorrow we plan on going to the Air Force Academy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Cuts...

Well folks, today was the first day of cuts at the trials.

After our first morning session, which I did much better in, the coaches called us together to tell us that they would be making their first cut. They were going to post it on two doors to the gym at 12:30. That meant I had 45 minutes of anxious waitng to see if I made the first cut. As 12:30 neared, Dad and I went into the gym. When I saw a hoard of girls heading for the door, I walked over there with a racing heart. I had prayed that I would make the first cut. The girls were shoving to get out of the door; I thought someone was going to get smothered! Some girls walked back in with big smiles on their faces, while others did not. When I finally got to look at the list, I began by scanning the first column. No 263 in the first column, but wait! 263 in the second column of Group 1! I stood there for what seemed like forever to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. No, I was quite sure I had made the first cut!

Still, when I walked back to my dad I said, "I am 263 right? Let's go check the list downstairs just to make sure." Yes, I had made the first cut.

Soon, we began our next session. At the end the coaches called us over again. "Oh man! Another cut!" Yes, it was another cut that was to be posted at 4:45. After, lunch Dad and I returned to check the list. My heart began to sink as I kept searching for 263 to no avail. Dad and I again made certain that we were correct. I hadn't made the second cut.

I'm not very upset. It is such an honor just to have been a part of the trails, and I had an excellent experience. I was somewhere between 53-73 out of an original 120 girls. I now know what I need to work on in order to be "the best". For me this will be footwork, strength, but mostly mind-set. By mind-set I mean that every time I touch the ball on offense I have to know that it's going in the hoop, and any time I'm on defense I have to know that I will not be scored on.

Dad and I have decided to stay in the Springs to sight-see until Tuesday. I'm looking forward to Pike's Peak and the Air Force Academy, but I can't wait to to begin my new basketball workouts!

Here's a few pictures...

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Springs!

Well, after being told that our flight was cancelled on Wednesday due to bad weather in the mid-west, I was quite upset. I thought "What I can't make it to the trials?!" However, after keeping my composure for 4 hours and 40 minutes, two great ladies from American, Nana and M (I can't quite remember her name), found us a flight to Denver that connected in Philadelphia. The downside, a big one at that, was that Karli and mom couldn't come with us. US Air only had two seats left. Also, that flight left from RDU at 5:20 a.m. on Thursday. So, dad and I got 3 hours of sleep before leaving for the airport. I tried to sleep on the plane, but that didn't quite work out; therefore, I was up for around 14 hours running on 3 hours of sleep!

Dad and I made it to the Springs! I checked in and received my USA jersey. Just having that practice jersey on sends chills down my spine. It's such an honor just to be able to try-out. We began with skills sessions. Through last night and this morning we worked on footwork, tons of footwork, shooting form, and defense. I have honestly never been in a three-point stance for that long!

We started scrimmaging tonight. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. I wasn't assertive enough, but tomorrow is a new day! I'm excited about the rest of the trials and can't wait to really showcase my basketball ability to the fullest extent!

I want to mention Coach Barry's philosophy. You should strive for perfection in practice and exaggerate everything. That way, when you are in the game and things go crazy, you can still perform efficiently.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last minute preparations!

First a few things about me:
 I'm Keri and I am an avid basketball player. God has blessed me with many great opportunities in basketball and school. I'm a small town, country girl and love anything to do with the outdoors. I love reading and anything that involves learning.

Now on to what I'm about to do:
I am going to Colorado Springs, Colorado for the USA Women's Basketball U16 Trials. It's going to be a great experience and a huge challenge. Not only will I be competing with the top players in the nation, elevation will also be a big factor! When I say big, I mean BIG! The elevation at my house is around 900 ft. The elevation of Colorado Springs is 6,000 ft. Now that's what I call a big jump!
Anyways, my whole family, well minus my older sister Kayla, are going on this trip. Mom, Dad, and Karli (you'll hear me call her Charles), and I are extremely excited about this trip. Packing is proving to be a challenge though! We are trying to fit all of our clothes in two suitcases so that we only have to pay for two checked bags at the airport. We'll see how that goes! I've got my clothes ready to go, but we still have until Wednesday to get everything to fit in our luggage.
If I make the team, I get to go to Merida, Mexico to play in the FIBA Americas Championship!

I am so blessed to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I can't wait to get out there and do my very best to showcase my basketball skills and knowledge!