As a sophomore, Kate Benz chronicled her experiences with the Cougar basketball team during the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, the junior forward from Portland, Ore. continues her accounts of life as a Cougar. Please visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the year.
July 19, 2005
Breaking monotony can often be a difficult task
The combination of school and basketball becomes almost a burden by the end of spring semester. Thankfully, we are blessed with summer - a time to regroup and rejuvenate our run-down minds and bodies.
Some of us went home for a month before returning to Pullman to take a couple of summer school classes. Others stayed in town working and studying. Adriane Ferguson went to Spain with the touring Athletes in Action team to play for three weeks. Charmaine Jones had knee surgery (she has been rehabbing and is now back on the court playing). I had the lucky opportunity to attend the NCAA student-athlete leadership conference in Florida for a week in May.
Wherever the early month of vacation took us, we each made it back to the Palouse mid-June to begin summer workouts. At this time, our four fabulous freshmen joined our team. We began intense weight lifting four days a week, incorporated cardio, individual skill workouts, and open gym in the strongest effort ( that I've seen in my time here at Wazzu) to become the new Cougar women's basketball team we are striving to be.
Lately, we have been putting in extra hours just playing ball with each other. I don't know if I can speak for the rest of the team, but I have developed a new love of the game. It is so refreshing having new teammates, each who bring different skills but the same desire to make a change and leave an impression at this university.
Maybe I am just becoming sentimental at my ripe old age of 20 and with the label of upperclassman attached to my name, but I truly feel different. With each summer - this being my third in Pullman - I have come to grow in appreciation for WSU…the school, athletic department, our coaches, team, and the community as a whole.
These are my last two years at a school and with a program I have become totally attached to. We have been through some tough times together and have had to say goodbye to graduating teammates and coaches (we miss you!). Learning and accepting that things change has been a great lesson.
It has also been incredible motivation. Last season we took a baby step out of the bottom of the Pac-10 standings, but now it is time to show we are upperclassmen who deserve to belong among the more experienced teams in this league.
The 2005-06 season is going to be exciting and unpredictable, and we will continue to grow every step of the way.
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