By Jaide Hinds-Clarke – Sophomore, Women’s Basketball
It’s November 9, 6:57 p.m. and as I hold a firm grip of my stuffed animal, Kimba – feelings of excitement flood through my mind. Memories of last year creep in but I remain focused thinking about our goals for THIS season.
This time last year, I would be holding Janelle Hubbard’s hand for takeoff, as our seats are organized by last names. This year I hold Dee Hatcher’s hand to calm my anxious feeling about the plane ride. I’m may be afraid of planes, but one thing this team isn’t afraid of is hitting the ground running.
Something about this year feels different – 12 women. One team. New motto.
This year, we “Embrace The Pace.” To us, this means we are going play as hard as we can and as fast as we can to get the job done – together. All summer we have been pushing each other to get better, pushing each other to the breaking point, to see the impossible as possible.
When we line up for National Anthem on Friday night, we stand together hand-in-hand ready to embrace the challenges of this year. Together. As our warmups are taken off, the lights dim, and the last sip of water is taken before tip-off, we embrace the start of a new season. A new opportunity. One team, one goal, one mentality. As long as we are united, it will not matter what the name on the front of our opponent’s jersey reads. As long as we focus and play for each other we will be successful in reaching our goals.
The pilot has announced that we are landing, and the flight attendant is rushing me to put away my computer. We are ready to show everyone what the University of Richmond is all about. It’s going to be a journey; a difficult one at that – but we have been working hard since that final buzzer last year and it’s time. We are ready, and we hope you are too.