THOMAS TALK: Survival of the Toughest
Greetings to all fans, family and friends. I hope everyone is having a blessed week. Our last team bonding day was boot camp at the beach. It was arguably the hardest thing I have ever had to do at JU. We were literally carrying each other for hundreds of yards. We were rolling tractor tires, crawling in the sand and wheel barreling each other across the finish line. It was the hardest most amazing experience I have ever had with the best group of girls in the world. I will definitely remember that day for the rest of my life; and you can too. Just check out our JU Women’s Basketball Face Book Page and view the photo albums. (On the low, I’m doing PR for the team and should be getting an internship credit or community service….something. Help a sister out.)

Coach (Dee) Pennix, Maggie (Wilson) and I would like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes even if you didn’t text or call us and you just thought about it we still thank you. I went to a new restaurant for my birthday by the beach called Carribbee Key. I think that’s my new favorite spot even though all I had was appetizers. Lol, I wasn’t that hungry. If you get a chance to go please try those shipwreck shrimp they are to die for.

The time that we have all anticipated has finally come. This time that I speak of is an intense introduction into our season. The time where the blood, sweat and tears of conditioning really shows how much it really paid off. The time of real bonding, real family feuds and real competiveness really shows its true colors. This is the time where champions are sculpted. Some may call this time official practice but I like to call it survival of the toughest. This is the time where playing time and positions aren’t handed to you because of seniority or good looks, but because of hard work and dedication on a consistent basis.

As a team, our main focus are these three words: discipline, family, and purpose. Being a disciplined athlete on and off the court goes without explanation, follow directions and do what is asked of you. Family means that we will forever stick together as one. ‘We all we got.’ And my favorite one is purpose. I mean why else are we here. This doesn’t just apply to basketball but this applies to real world situations. We cannot just wake up every day without a plan. We must have a purpose for everything we do in life just like we have to have a purpose for everything we do on the court.

With a team full of new people, we have really been focusing on the little things like footwork, floor spacing and timing. These are little things that could make a big difference in any ball game. We have also been working a lot on defense and communication. Every practice has been a challenge for everyone. We are competing and pushing each other. As a leader on this team my motivation is how hard I have worked to get to where I am now and knowing that I still have not reached my full potential if there is such a thing. All I can think about is the smell of championship and it smells so sweet. Just take a moment and sniff the aroma with me. Smells good, doesn’t it?

With that family, I want to leave you with a quote from the great Michael Jordan. I have been playing the new NBA2k11 (the first 2ksports video game that Michael Jordan ever appeared in and he’s on the cover) and have fallen in love with MJ all over again. "Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I led you to believe it was easy when it wasn't. Maybe it's my fault that you didn't see that failure gave me strength. That my pain was my motivation." (MJ)

That is what it’s all about folks. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Jump on board and follow us to a ring. “Man Down.”