DURHAM, N.C.— Since I am not playing this due to a knee injury, I’m embracing my role on the team - aka 'scout team all-star', 'cardio club queen', and member of the 'bench crew.' These may not sound like very lofty roles, but for the time being, I’m making the most out of them.
At the end of every practice we have “scout,” where the scout team (male practice players and myself) interpret our upcoming opponent and our team has to defend them. 'Scout' is secretly my favorite part of practice because I usually get to interpret the opponents main scorer or three-point shooter which is always fun.
A new tradition our team members just started is 'cardio club' in order to stay in shape. After every home game, the players who played 20 min or less have to go run sprints and after away games have to do an “insanity” workout the next day. I currently have a perfect attendance at cardio club, hence making me “cardio queen.”
My other role is being a proud member of the bench crew. While most people don’t realize the importance of the bench, this year I have a new appreciation for it. The players who come off the bench have to provide a spark of energy when they get in the game, and for those who don’t, we have to be constantly talking, alert, cheering, and helping to fuel the energy on the court. We see things from the sidelines the players can’t see, so we have to be alert pointing out the cutters, yelling out the defenses, or just cheering on our teammates. It can be frustrating at times over there, but most of the time it’s a lot of fun. My bench bud Jenna Frush keeps us entertained with new dance moves every time something good happens and chest bumps are always being passed around. While the bench’s duties don’t show up in the box score, it’s definitely an important part of the team. My time with the bench crew has helped me grow a better understanding of the game that I will definitely take with me for next year.
My role right now is to get healthy, stronger and to learn the game inside and out. I also want to take every opportunity to push my teammates and challenge them to make our team a great team. I've embraced my role and I am confident this experience will make me an even better player when my time comes. I'm patiently waiting for my time and taking every opportunity to learn from my teammates. I don't want to just be a good player, I want to be a great player, and this full year of learning is one step closer to getting me there.