When I thought I was finished with AAU…

Posted By: NatalyaLee
Posted On: October 1st, 2017
Attending: Ulster University

For any male/female that played AAU growing up you can relate when I say, we all loved when it was the weekends or traveled out of state for an AAU tournament because that meant 2/3 days full of games! We would have games in the morning and then be able to lay around with our team watching other games, laughing, and joking, or maybe even sleeping while we waited for our next game. Those were the best types of weekends growing up as a basketball player. Well, I got to relive that style of my life again and boy was it not the same.

My team and I would play five games in two days. You would think five games in two days, that sounds like any basketball player’s ideal weekend, right?! No practice, just games, what basketball player wouldn’t love that idea?! Well let me tell ya, when you’re not 13, 14, 15, or 16 years of age anymore, or have played in basketball games consistently, it is not the most ideal weekend for a basketball player haha.

So last weekend I had the privilege of playing in my first Pre Season Tournament down in Dublin with my awesome teammates.We traveled down Saturday morning for our first game. That was a thrilling game that came to the final few seconds. We were able to pull out that win and receive our first point in our pool. We would then have our second game about 3 hours later. Unfortunately, that game wouldn’t go as well as we would have liked it, but that would be okay, because we would have more games the next day(yay). Sunday, our first game was in the morning we played pretty well, got the win and secured our spot in the semifinals. We would wait about a hour and half and play yet another game, our semifinals game. Once again that was a thrilling match and we would pull out the win. With the team and I winning that game we would move onto the finals. Which would be PLAYED ON THE SAME DAY just 40 minutes after we just finished playing our semifinal game. So yes, three games in one day. At this point my body I think was legit yelling at me to stop. So when I tell y’all I’ve never stretched so much in my life I’m not lying. I stretched before, after, and I think a little during when I was on the bench. Which is ironic because when I was younger I would have to get told to go stretch because I hated it, I just wanted to play. However, this past weekend I didn’t want to play unless I stretched. Although this experience may have been tough on me I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. It reminded me of AAU all over again with all the teams lounged around the gym waiting to play and especially when the team and I were back in our hotel room playing games. It was all and all a great time.

The team and I wouldn’t pull out the win in the finals but I’ve learned from my teammates we’ll have plenty more tournaments set up like that throughout the season. So hopefully we’ll be able to redeem ourselves and I think I’ll be more mentally prepared for five games in two days next time along with doing a lot more stretching!

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