Wild Times In Washington: Nadia Parker Recaps USC's Recent Road Trip|
Jan. 18, 2006
Hi Trojan Fans,
The past few days have been amazing. We played in Washington this week and I couldn't have been happier. I went to school in Bethel, Wash., for my senior year, so it was a real treat for me to know that I would be playing two close friends: One of them a former teammate, and the other a former opponent. First, we went to Pullman, and I couldn't help but wonder if the rest of the girls feel giddy and excited but anxious to play at this level against friends? After a good night's rest, the team left for shoot-around, and afterwards I saw my Bethel teammate walking into the gym for her team's shoot-around time. I thought about how much time had passed and how she still looked like the same goofy person I'd come to know. We caught up on things for a short while before we left to go back to the hotel. Upon our return, I got a call from my dad saying the mountain pass to Pullman was closed and my parents wouldn't be making the first part of the trip. Well, the game was intense, but we came out with a win. My friend at WSU hit three 3-pointers in my face! It was great to see my high school friends, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual between the two of them as well.
We headed back to Seattle in the morning, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up watching film in the wireless internet room (did I mention it was in the airport?); all 15 of us, including some commuters (thanks guys for the support). Straight from the Seattle Int'l Airport to the gym of the Huskies we traveled. During that time the excitement was building in me. My family and friends would be seeing what our team has been accomplishing these past five games. Practice ended and we were elated to hear that we were being treated to a movie that Chloé Kerr's brother appeared in, Glory Road. The jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, motivational movie had us all talking about it for the rest of the night. Well, the day of the game finally came, and oh boy, what a game! Right before, though, Coach Trakh introduced us to a very special person. She used to play for him when he was still a high school coach at Brea Olinda. What really made us excited was that she had announced that she was a longtime SC fan and had brought us a big cheer section. The locker room was just a cage, and the Trojans were ready to bust loose (at least that was what I interpreted it as). It started off as a tug-o-war, we would score, they would score; we would get a run, they would get a run. At the half everyone was feeling the pressure of the game. All odds seemed against us: it was their home court on which they hadn't lost, they had a good number of fans there, and we were playing against one of the toughest defenses in the Pac-10. But Eshaya Murphy and Camille LeNoir eased any worries we may have had by making some pivotal shots and plays down the stretch. Coming down to the wire, I was on the bench, looking around the gym, hearing the hype and seeing the eagerness on everyone's faces. Camille hit two free throws that pulled us out on top. They shot the ball in a last-second attempt, but it didn't make it to the basket. It was like, `Oh my... it's over. It's finally over. We just did what almost seemed impossible.'
Afterward we thanked those who came to support us, and we finally left Seattle and returned home to LA (for my teammates that were on the bus, we should try out for the `idol'!). This entire trip was one to remember because I truly understood what it was to not only believe in others, but also find courage within yourself.