Dear Diary...

Dec. 1, 2003

Pepperdine basketball players will take Waves fans behind the scenes as the orange and blue of Malibu plays its 2003-04 women's basketball schedule. We've also added a link so you can submit your own questions for players to respond in their next entry. Being a collegiate basketball player creates an interesting journal, but being a collegiate basketball player at perhaps the most beautiful school in the country that is flocked with celebrities is a whole other story. Enjoy...

Kelsey Ball
So, Forward
Diary Entry No. 5

My heart was racing, my nerves were jumping, my stomach was in knots, and I couldn't stop smiling. It was one of the best feelings in the world. I felt like a freshman all over again playing in my very first collegiate game. Only I wasn't.

Instead I was playinig in my first collegiate game of the 2003-2004 season, my sophomore year. I have been battling a chronic ankle injury that needs to be surgically fixed after the season is over, as well as a hurt achilles tendon. So this week was a very special and exciting week for me, as I haven't played since the beginning of October. Also as you know, this week was Thanksgiving weekend, so it gave me more time to focus on basketball and not need to worry about school so much-- which was a blessing.

In between early morning work outs, weight lifting, conditioning, and practice it is easy to forget what a privledge it is to be able to play basketball. As it always seems, you don't realize how much you love something until it is taken away from you. Being injured for these past couple of months has made me realize how much I miss and need basketball in my life. Although I have been at every practice and event with my team while I have been injured, I've had this feeling of detachment from my teamates, and I know something is missing in my life. All that ended on Friday, our first game of our Thanksgiving tournament, was to battle alongside my teamates. It was a great feeling, it felt like I was home again, on the court.

After practice Thanksgiving morning, I headed home to Huntington Beach, about an hour away to eat dinner with my family. I am one of the lucky ones that live close enough to go home and spend Thanksgiving with my family. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't go home to my family on days off; as home always seems to give me exactly what I need to go back and face school and basketball, which can be overwhelming at times. After finishing dinner, I picked up Kerra (Wodarski), my teamate that spent Thanksgiving with a friend in Orange County, and headed back to school to get some sleep and prepare for my fist game back the next day.

I couldn't sleep as well as I had wanted to, mostly because I was so anxious for the next day. After getting treatment, and shoot around, we watched a little film on UCR, and then went to eat pre-game meal. Then I went back to my dorm to shower and take a quick nap before having to be back in the training room before our game. Sometimes I feel like I live in the training room as I am in there so often. Without our trainer Debbie (Prouse), none of our bodies would be functioning, as she's the one that holds all of our broken parts together so that we can play. Without her I don't know what our injury plagued team would do!

It never looked or felt better: looking in the mirror, in my uniform for the first time, getting to warm up with my teamates instead of standing at the baseline and watching, and checking into the game. It never felt better. Besides being out of shape and having to pull myself out after a few possessions, it was great to be back.

Regardless of how the game went, and how I played, I was just happy to be out there once again, happy to be home.

Thanks for allowing me to share my life with you. GO WAVES!!!!

Kelsey Ball # 25



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