Courtesy: Duke Sports Information Release: 06/22/2014
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OWENSBORO, Ky..-- There’s nothing I love more than summer time. Laying out, going to the lake and country music festivals…what’s not to love? As a college athlete, we don’t get the normal 3-4 month break like most college students, but we still get a good chunk of time off to go home.
This year I left Duke right after I finished my last final exam in early May and I don’t have to report back until June 30 when summer school and workouts start back up, giving me a nice little break to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy my summer. It’s safe to say I’ve definitely been making the most of my time at home this summer.
I started my break off right by hopping in my car right after my last exam and driving nine straight hours to Louisville, Kent., to meet some friends for one of the most exciting events of the year, the Kentucky Derby. Call me cheesy, but I admit I got chills hearing the trumpet blow to start the race and watching California Chrome cross the finish line. It was my first trip to the Kentucky Derby and it will certainly not be my last.
Soon after, I made a trip up to New York City for Memorial Day weekend to visit friends and saw just about everything you could squeeze into a three day trip. I visited Times Square, Central Park, the World Trade Center memorial, etc. It being my first time in New York, walking up from the subway into Manhattan was a pretty amazing experience. New York City is a different world that’s for sure, but I loved it and will definitely go back!
Just recently I also went to Nashville, Tenn., (a city, maybe the complete opposite of N.Y.) for the CMA music fest and had an awesome time! I went with a few friends, explored Nashville for a couple days, saw free concerts all day long and at night saw some big time stars. My friends and I bought some tickets for nose-bleed seats, but managed to make our way down midway through the concert to some awesome open seats and got to see Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton all perform at the Titan's stadium! It was a blast.
During my break I’ve also made several trips to Lake Barkley with my dad, jet skied on the Ohio, made a trip to Holiday World with the family and watched countless of my little sisters' soccer and baseball games. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to mention, I also managed to snag a pretty awesome summer job working at Independence Bank too. So, yes, I’ve been staying busy that's for sure!
Though it might sound like I’ve mostly been playing all summer long, that has not been the case. I’ve been balancing my free time wisely all while training hard for the upcoming basketball season. The summer is the best time to get better and I’ve been working out nearly every day to prepare for my first year of college basketball.
Even though I’m home, the grind doesn’t stop, and Coach Will, our strength coach makes sure of that. He gave us a weekly lifting and conditioning program that I have been following religiously because I know what to expect for preseason now that I’ve had a year under my belt. This year one of our preseason tests is the mile and half test and I’ve been hitting the track quite a bit lately working on that. I’ve also been playing pick up every week with some guys at the Health Park, which has been an especially good workout. I wasn’t able to workout this time last summer because of my knee injury, so I've been trying to make the most of my time working on getting stronger and as prepared as possible for the upcoming season.
My summer break is just about to come to an end here in Owensboro. I’m going to miss my mom’s home cooked meals and laundry service for sure! But, I've made the most of my break and I'll be returning to Durham, my 'home away from home' and reuniting with my teammates in a couple weeks. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season and I'm more than ready to play ball!