T his is my last year, and I have been extremely excited about the upcoming season. I remember walking into coach Charlie Schaef’s office one day before a workout and asking him, “Hey coach, who we playing for my last year?”
He looked up, smiled and responded with, “You will see.” I knew he had something up his sleeve. From that day forward, I tried to get it out of him, but every time I asked he would give me that coach Schaef smirk and respond with “Not yet.”
Many weeks later I was walking aimlessly to the gym getting ready for another workout. I was approached by a teammate, and he told me that coach was going to tell us who we were playing. I told myself I wouldn’t believe until it happens. As we were warming up and waiting for the girls to finish on the court, he told us to meet at the bleachers because he had something to tell us. My heart began to beat faster, but I kept telling myself it’s just a joke, it’s just a joke.
“Alright guys, this is not final yet, but we are going to tell you who we are trying to get,” coach Schaef said. My feet began to move frantically, while my heart began to beat even faster. “We are going to play Kentucky.”
My heart dropped. There is no way. I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s not for sure yet, but we think it’s going to work out.” Everyone was screaming, smiling from ear to ear and ready to play. We are going to play the Kentucky Wildcats.
After that day, I told everyone I knew that we were playing Kentucky. They didn’t believe me. Every time I said it, I still couldn’t believe it.
I have followed college basketball since I was a little kid, and I always wanted to play Division I basketball. When you think of college basketball, Kentucky is one of the first schools that come to mind — all the history, all the players and playing in Rupp Arena. This was a dream come true for me and most of my teammates.
As the game gets closer and closer, I think about all the hard work I put into becoming a college player, and I think about the unbelievable opportunity I have. There are only a select few who get to play in the historic Rupp Arena, and I am one of them.
I can’t wait until I hear 15,000 people screaming against me. I can’t wait until they call my name. I can’t wait until I get to touch that court. What a way to open my senior year with a chance of a lifetime.