Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jayne’s Made the Grade!

C and R got some good news today. Former Stanford women’s basketball star and current favorite of R, Jayne Appel was added to the USA Basketball Women's National Team pool. She gets to join another former Stanford star and current favorite of C, Candice Wiggins (although isn’t she injured and out for the season?).

Hold the phone, Jayne’s not on the team yet. She was one of four players added to the players who MIGHT be selected. The three other players and Jayne are all post players.

"Certainly one of the positions that we are trying to shore up is in the post," coach Geno Auriemma said. "With Candace Parker not being available because of her operation, these four additions give us a lot of options to choose from. I'm anxious to see how they fit in. And depending on who's available because of the (WNBA) playoffs, I think it's important to have as many options as possible."

So these selected members of the USA National Team will meet on Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C. for its final training camp ahead of its departure for Europe to compete at the FIBA World Championship. The 12 players for the 2012 Olympic team will be decided from that play.

When Jayne was asked how it felt to be named to training camp after sitting out the first two due to injury (foot stress fracture), she said, “It’s kind of more of a sigh of relief, after having gone to the camps when I wasn’t able to play and having to watch on the sidelines. It makes it even more worthwhile. It also helped me want to be a part of it even more and makes me want to be able to contribute more into the future.”

She also was asked what she could bring to this team, especially since she is not having a great rookie season in the WNBA. She answered she will bring, “Whatever they need. Whether it be rebounding, if it’s giving energy off the bench, being that player who pushes other players every day in practice. Really anything that coach Auriemma wants me to do, I’ll do it.” See, not everyone has to be the superstar. Sometimes the superstar needs someone cheering them on! And I do like the comment that she can be the practice player to push the superstars and be contributing that way, like Sarah Boothe did last season for her.

Although Jayne has limited experience playing overseas (she played overseas a smattering of times, in the U18 USA team in the Pan American games and in the USA Youth Developmental Festival), she was asked to comment on the international style of play. She gave what C and R consider a Stanford-type answer. Rather than comment on the more physical play everyone else mentions, she said the team must also worry about a different battle off the court. “You’re in different countries, you have to get used to the different atmospheres, things like that. But if you keep that circle close within the team, as long as you do that you’ll be fine.” We love that she is mentioning how hard it is to travel someplace new and compete, and how important team chemistry and trusting you fellow players is to doing well. A detail few players mention. Hmmm, wonder if Jayne wants to be a coach some day?

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