Sunday, November 29, 2009


Stanford has offered a one hour mini camp for girls in 3rd-8th grades, which happens to be the ages of the girls C and R coach for rec league basketball. Six of the twelve girls are able to go to the camp before the game, and then attend the Gonzaga-Stanford game with us.

We register the girls and we see that the camp is being taught by Krista Rappahan, an old Stanford Cardinal who was a great three point specialist, and the male practice player from last year. We didn’t catch his name (Matt, maybe?) but we remember seeing him at every home game last year.

While the girls practiced, C was able to chat with The Stanford Fast Break Club’s Judy Richter. It was a wonderful chat all about Stanford women’s basketball, and who wouldn’t love that! C learned so many things. For example, Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka Ogwumike’s sister, the number one recruit in the country who is coming to Stanford next fall, pronounces her name chin-NAY. C and R won’t bore you on how we butchered it. We are as bad as that announcer guy from UC Davis! We also discussed the unfortunate fate of the Sacramento Monarchs and where Jayne Appel might end up next year. Will she go to Minnesota to be reunited with Candice Wiggins, or to the Monarchs, who are playing in no-women’s-land but we hope the bay area?

After tiring the girls out, we eat our lunches outside by the ticket booth before heading into the game. C explains the concept of coach’s tax on the more delicious items in their lunch boxes. This is what C always does with her kids. (Coach, or Mom gets a bite as a “tax”…hey, it’s never too late to introduce the girls to real life situations and headaches). The girls decide they don’t want to pay up. C is crestfallen.

We are surprised at how crowded it is. Way to go Bay Area. I think we could support a WNBA team, don’t you?

Nneka wins the jump ball. So far we are undefeated in jump balls and in games. The girls ask what a “Gonzaga” is.

The girls cheer on Stanford and Jayne Appel. We explain she is still recovering from the flu, and then watch as she promptly makes the first basket. That’s okay if she is not 100% because dependable Kayla Pederson and Nneka are here. Nneka is sky-ing to the basket, using her jumping ability to score down low. She also makes all her free throws! Way to go Nneka.

Around the 13 minute mark Jayne fouls. We explain to the girls that when Jayne fouls she is punished by being pulled out of the game. Sure enough Head Coach Tara VanDerveer takes her out. Kids this age are very literal. Is she really being punished? Well, we say, and one girl pipes up that you only get 5 fouls before you are out of the game. These girls are always on the ball. You could look at it both ways. The coach is saving her for later in the game, trying to limit her fouls, or saying if you foul you will be taken out, or punished, as a deterrent not to foul. The girls mutually agree if they were in that situation, they would promise not to foul and would like to stay in rather than be taken out. Again, another life lesson you don’t always get what you want. Jayne goes back in, contributes with a lay-up, a steal and a rebound. Always versatile. Then a foul. Out she goes. The girls pout. Jayne stays out for the rest of the half. (That might be because she is still battling the flu)

Then Kalya Pederson fouls. We explain Kayla does not get pulled. The coaches know she is smart and won’t do that mistake again. Unfair treatment? Life lesson number three….

These girls are also math wizards and relize the instant Stanford has exactly double Gonzaga’s score 32-16.

The half ends 59-38. We run around for popcorn and garlic fries. The half starts up again. Jayne is back in. Kayla and Nneka are scorin’ the points. The girls realize Kayla and Nneka have combined for 50 points and Gonzaga has 54 as a team.

One girl asks if we can boo. We answer quickly, never at Stanford. And then, realizing we are role models and the adults, supposedly, and we are supposed to be teaching them life lessons, we tell them never boo the other team because that would be bad sportsmanship. We do actually believe this; we respect the athletes on the other side, too. But then we say it’s okay to boo the refs. Okay, so we blew it a little bit. We say boo the ref when they make what you think is a bad call. Sure enough, a few minutes later they call JJ Hones for a blocking foul that should have been a charge and we tell the girls to boo. They do gleefully. What have we started?

Around the 7 minute mark, Kayla gets another foul. The team observes she does not get pulled. Then 2 minutes later Kayla uncharacteristically fouls again for her third personal foul and this time she does get pulled. C tells the girls this time the Coach IS mad, and she gets punished. Life lesson number four, don’t make your coach mad…

Now the girls start cheering for Stanford to break 100 points. Ros Gold-Onwude hits a three to make it 97. Nneka gets a lay up for 99. Jeanette Pohlen makes a three to get us to 102. The girls stand and cheer. There is about 4 minutes left in the game. Another smart cookie asks us what is Stanford’s highest score? She realizes at the pace they have been scoring that they must be ready to break a record. C and R are stumped! We don’t know! R gets out her fancy phone to try and research the answer. C guesses it is around 120 in a double over time. We can’t find it on the Stanford site. The closest we get is a game against Washington last year where we scored 118. Is that the most? We go on to win 105-74.

Does anyone know the answer or know where the answer is on the web? Email us.

Nneka gets to 29 points before she gets a rest. C and R wonder if this is a career high? Turns out it is. Later we read Kayla scored her 1,000 career point 6 minutes into the first half. We were unaware. She finished with 30 points. A recovering Jayne got 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, one block and one steal. Even when she is sick, she contributes in a lot of ways. The big three had a great output.

We fan out for a red victory ball but come up empty handed. The team is not sending anyone out for autographs after the game, a shame. C and R hope they bring that tradition back. We do get free pizza and see Mikaela Ruef after the game.

Now we have two more practices before our first game. We have a lot of work to do.

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