The official hoopSalute logo,
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hoopSalute: The View from the Floor!

'Nah - I wasn't there, but these people were!

This includes the latest batch of comments,
forwarded by skiprace@aol.com - Thanx Skip!

From Skiprace@aol.com Tue Jan 26 12:36:20 1999
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:39:11 EST
From: Skiprace@aol.com
To: jsage@finchhaven.com et al
Subject: hoopSalute: more  memories, observations and opinions

My fellow Reign fans:

I don't know what else I could add to what has been said about hoopSalute. It was an amazing experience. Good basketball, great fans! The Yell Kids did their usual great performance, and later on, Sheri Sam and Naomi Mulitauaopele were on the court dancing, with Klik, the mascot.

Teresa Edwards is simply incredible - just to see her was worth it. Then you add the other players. This was too good to pass up.

I think you will get a good picture of what happened from what others are saying.

One of the greatest stories of hoopSalute is how Janey Elliott arranged and brought the Yell Kids from Seattle to perform. They had a great time. What a wonderful experience for them to perform out-of-state, and then get a limo ride to dinner and to the airport. Thank you Janey for everything!

- Skip

Wow! You all sure do know how to throw a party down there. What a great time! Naomi was at the airport, on the same flight as the Yell Kids, Tamika, Geneva, their parents and me. She was very pleased to have been treated to a first class upgrade by some other Seattle fans. She was really hoping to be able to get copies of any newspaper coverage, especially with photos -- as are the rest of the Seattle fans. If anyone would be willing to pick up an extra set of whatever papers have articles, please email me directly. I'd love to send the originals to Naomi to show to her dad, and make copies for the rest of us. Janey Elliott JaneyEl@msn.com **************
First off, what an awesome game! I just got home at 10 so I am pretty pooped. Just some random notes: Jamilia Wideman, Milena Flores, Tara Vanderveer and Heidi Vanderveer were there. I was lucky enough to talk to Heidi Vanderveer who was very sweet. She signed "Samantha, Keep shooting for the stars! Heidi Vanderveer." I got to tell her how mad I was that the idiots in Sac fired her and on top of that that they hired Sonny Allen over Maura Mcguah (spelling?). I got several autographs luckily! Katy Steding won the 3 point contest. I lost my name tag too. Just thought you'd like to know :) Ok, now here are some first half stats. I can't at all say that they are correct, with their fast paced game it was really difficult. I stopped taking stats at the half for two reason, one its was just too hard and too Sheri Sam kept switching teams! Everyone around me was laughing cause I had to keep switching her. Forget team stats! haha. Keep in mind these may not be accurate and they are 1st half stats. I am pretty sure however the points are correct. Here we go: Jennifer Azzi: 2 rbs, 1 ast, 1 steal, 2 pts Teresa Edwards: 4 rbs, 3 ast, 14 pts Clarisse Mach.: 3 rbs, 1 ast, 1 steal, 8 pts Kate Starbird: 1 rbs, 1 ast, 6 pts Anna DeForge: 2 rbs, 2 pts Sheri Sam: 4 rbs, 2 ast, 1 steal, 7 pts Naomi Mulit.: 5 rbs, 1 ast, 2 pts Kedra Holland-K: 1 steal, 8 pts Laurie Byrd: 1 rbs, 2 pts Edna Campbell: 2 rbs, 3 asts, 3 pts Sonja Henning: 1 rbs, 2 pts Anita Kaplin: 1 rbs, 8 pts Kate Paye: 4 rbs, 1 ast, 2 pts Kate Steding: 3 rbs, 1 ast, 9 pts Natalie Williams: 10 rbs, 12 pts I'm pretty sure Teresa Edwards had scored in the high 20s. Great game all around. Great job everybody. Samantha aka Rep#22 potts@woodland.net ***********
Other fun things that happened in/around/by/during/through the game: - Several times, Azzi had the audience (instead of her teammate) inbound the ball. - There were four stickers placed under bleacher seats, and the four sitting on those seats got to play one-on-one with the player of their choice. Ron Gonzalez, the new mayor of SJ, happened to be one of the winners! - There was an incredible media presence. I'm surprised the players could make any shots, there were so many flashbulbs. I saw at least four different professional-level video cameras and probably about fifty photographers. - I *think* there were about 2000 people there, based on something somebody (maybe OgLady?) said. It was crowded by not too cramped. People were sitting in the aisles but not in each others' laps. - Twice, Kedra H-C snuck onto the court as a sixth person. :-D - Sheri Sam once accidentally passed to Azzi, who was guarding her. She got all embarrassed about it. :-) - Teresa Edwards got fouled heavily and missed her layup. She went crashing to the floor and everybody else charged off to the other end. T had a video camera stuck in her face, and just sat there on the floor talking to the camera until the possession changed. - Teresa Edwards is an amazing player. She rocks. So does Natalie Williams. Naomi M. was also pretty impressive for a rookie. (Was this the first time since '96 that T and Azzi have gotten to play together? [I think T and Azzi played together in the series against the Opals in Australia last year. - Nev Villiers: email: envy@uq.net.au]) - Everything ran extremely smoothly. I was really impressed: everybody showed up, there were enough basketballs, volunteers had these really bitchin' lanyards, the mike worked, nobody tore their ACL, the shot clock seemed to work. Wow. - It was really cool how I seemed to know every sixth person. :-) This group rocks. :-) Ducky Sherwood ducky@webfoot.com *********
In my very humble opinion, there will never be a game like the game we saw today. These 15 women are not just the best there is in basketball but they are women who represent the best there is in being a person. It was truly an honor to be a part of the extremely appreciative audience. Diana related some of the hijinks. I swear, I don't know how the players knew which team they were on or which basket was theirs by about the 3rd quarter. And it didn't really matter. Final score was 100 (Dunn), 101 (Beck) but that tells you almost nothing. There was some amazing basketball and a whole heck of a lot of fun. Beck's "lovely" green jacket went for a whole lot of $$$ during the auction. She managed to get a "T" for who knows what. That jacket just got ripped off and thrown on the floor. Good thing she had on a blouse! The announcer was a young woman who "does" the Stanford games. She was incredible. Rolled with every punch, showed her incredible sense of humor, and proved that she will go far in her field. The refs were fair and let the game be played, and even were caught laughing a few times. They are to be commended. The crowd was huge, much larger than expected. Lots of folks stood the entire game so others could sit. Hooray. So who is going to hire Gay K. to bring on a new league??? I'd be there, first in line, to apply to be on her staff. Thinking of all you players and fans who couldn't be here today. Laura LSMant@aol.com **************
Some of my favorite moments that haven't been mentioned yet: Sheri Sam being talked into competing in the 3-point shootout. She was complaining that she was not warmed up and out of practice, etc. etc and then going on to beat three players shooting at the other basket. The girl scout troop singing "Yes She Can" -- twice, once to each side of the gym. Beck's Bombers looping through the gym after they were announced and slapping everyone's hands (I got Mach, "T", and Azzi!) Azzi going against Natalie Williams in the opening jump ball -- and just losing the tip by a fingernail. Mach wearing a brightly colored head scarf and Anna wearing a backwards baseball cap all game. The hard play, great shots, and scrambling for the ball even in the midst of the silliness. Players diving for the ball going out of bounds and stealing passes. Beck getting a rather trumped up technical and throwing her jacket to the floor. The announcers great one liners (Lin Dunn calls a time out and she announced "Lin has the great joke she wanted to tell her players") Anita getting traded at halftime, and her teammates dragging on to her as she walked to the other side, pretending to cry and carry on. Anna bouncing up and jogging to the other side when she was traded, and the announcer teasing her about it. The refs just throwing up their hands at some of the antics. And the refs each trying to get the other refs to go dance with Klik. Everyone playing and contributing. I think everyone or about everyone scored. Natalie Williams' mastery of the boards. That moment sometime in the 4th quarter where Beck's Bombers suddenly realized that they wanted to win the game -- and came back from something like a 17-point deficit to win on a shot with 3 seconds left. The players signing and signing until the last minute before each had to leave for the airport. Anna at the signing table, mumbling about her hat getting swiped by one of the other players and trying to hide her "hat hair". Naomi signing my "Fans celebration frisbee" passing it on to Katy Steding who promptly signed it Katy Stedingtauaopele. And many more than I can bring all together right now! I enjoyed getting to met some of you and also seeing my graphics show up on total strangers! :) What a great, exhausting day! --rebekah lasersfan@riddlemaster.com ***********
In my opinion, that was the best game I have ever seen. Yes, it was more 'goofy' than other games, but that's what I think brought out the spirit of the game. The score was 100-101, where in the last three seconds Teresa Edwards scored a lay-up to win the game for Angela Beck's team. I think that the score didn't matter to the players though, but to just have fun and to show the fans what it meant to them. I enjoyed every minute of that game. Being a teenager, these players really have an impact on me. They show teamwork, and how to stick by something without giving up. For those of you who could not attend the game, Katy Steding won the three point contest. Teresa Edwards put out a great show during the slam dunk portion of half-time. First by breaking a what looked to be a four foot or so plastic hoop, to jumping on top of Jennifer Azzi to dunk into a 6-7 foot (?) hoop. The other people who have posted have given more details, so I will leave it for others to finish. All I can say is: Thank you so much, and "Yes she can!" =) BBaiiCat24@aol.com *********
I was just a spectator, so can't answer most of your questions, but will tell you that it was everything I and those I went with expected and more. Naomi Mulitauaopele (Reign) sang the Star Spangled Banner and did a fine job. Lots of good basketball plus a lot of goofing around. For example........ With Sheri Sam flying in unexpectedly from Italy to play, there were 8 on Coach Dunn's "Dunkers" (white jerseys) and 7 on Coach Beck's "Bombers" (black jerseys.) When the Dunkers got a ways ahead, Beck talked Coach Dunn into letting Sam come play for the Bombers for a while. So Sam put a black jersey over her white one and went. Pretty funny. Shortly after that, when the Dunkers got the ball, Sam (still on the Bombers) pulled her black shirt up to try to fool the Dunkers into throwing the ball to her. Another time, a Dunker went up for a lay-up (I think) and Azzi stopped her by grabbing her like a bear-hug in mid air. I'm sure you'll hear about other shenanigans. Quite a bit of trading players back and forth. Even traded assistant coaches at one point. The umps were good natured and put up with about anything, but did call some real fouls. I believe it sold out. A couple of times before the game started they told us to squish together because they still had to fit another 1000 people in. And people did. But it wasn't uncomforably crowded. There was quite a bit of press there. Gay Katilius and all involved deserved to be very pleased and they seemed to be. Lots of well-deserved thanking and recognition afterward. Diana diwirt@svpal.org **************
Hi all, Finally home and let me tell you it was hard work. BUT I would do it all over again. The look on the faces of the fans, and to see the players playing great ball and having so much fun doing it. Every was very pleased with the event. The emotions I felt when I finally looked into the stands and saw the crowd, every shade, size, you name we had them. No one having any problem with any one else. I loved it when the announcer asked the fans to yell out where they were from. Everyone of the teams was represented by at least one fan. It was awesome. I cant say much more tonight, I have the worst toothache and my Tylenol and codeine has kicked in, so sleep is here. I am sure when the rest of the committee gets home from dinner out together they will sign on and give you more details. (Wont you Lori R.) Good night all. Bonnie Hampton alhamp@earthlink.net Volunteer coordinator Yes, if there is another league started I will be involved , I wont let it slip through my fingers this time. **********
Oh yeah.... At one point the announcer said "It looks like Azzi has put on a pair of jeans. Oh. No - it's Azzi's sister." Her sister had put Azzi's jersey on and went in for a few plays in her place :-) Diana Wirt diwirt@svpal.org ***********
Just got back, finally, after sticking around for a while and then going to dinner. The game was FUN. Much better than any old All Star Game, since everyone was having fun and playing the way they can't always, when it counts. This was what BBall is all about. Teresa was awesome -- I never really had a chance to appreciate her game since she was always on the other team, but seeing her like this was special. I was so glad to see Sheri. She flew in from Italy for the game and she looks much better. At the Lasers Farewell Party she was still in shock, but here she was having fun and playing her game. All the players played well and had fun, and the final score was 101-100, but Dunn's team really lead pretty much the whole way. Beck even put on a show and got a T. Ripped off that green jacket of hers, which they ended up auctioning off at the end. But all in good fun. And both Dunn and Beck ended up dancing with Klik at one of the quarters. What a hoot. Poor Klik -- she was hard pressed to keep up with a couple of the kids out there dancing. And the Yell Kids were there. I was glad to see that they made it. Jennifer, Teresa, and Sheri all had some comments at the end, with Sheri bringing tears to a lot of eyes when she thanked the three Olympians(Jennifer, Teresa, and Katy) for all they had taught her about dedication and believing in a cause. Jennifer gave her Olympic jersey to Gay for all the work she put into it. The place was packed. I doubt that DeAnza's gym has ever had that many people in it before. Gay said she just couldn't turn away those who came to the game to buy tickets, so we all just squeezed in. The entire committee deserves a real commendation. They did a terrific job and we all had a great time. I could go on and on, there were so many things. But I sure hope they made a tape and that we can buy a copy. Charlie Russel charlie@scribes.com **********
The game was way cool. The gym was jammed -- seems like they sold more tickets than they had seats. They had the announced 14 players, plus Cheri Sam flew in from Italy at the last minute. To keep the teams even, she switched teams every quarter -- what a ham. Naomi Mulitauaopele sang the national anthem. The players were obviously having a lot of fun, but played pretty seriously for the first half. They got more and more outrageous as the game went on. There was some trading of players and assistant coaches at half-time. Jennifer Azzi's sister (who looks quite a bit like her) played for a few minutes, in jeans and a #8 jersey. This probably sounds a little bit hokey, but there was still some great basketball. Made me clear one more time why being part of the ABL experience was so special. It was awe-inspiring to see that even when she's not playing completely seriously, Theresa Edwards is still better than about 99% of all the people who have ever played basketball in the entire history of the sport. Seeing her and Natalie Williams playing in a tiny gym was, in itself, worth the price of admission and the flight down. Someone who writes sports can describe this better than I can, but the game ended with a completely staged play where Lin Dunn's team staged blowing an inbounds pass, then someone managed to get the ball to Theresa Edwards in the last 3 seconds, allowing her to shoot the final scoring basket, ending the game 101-99. Again, although they were all having a good time, the fact that they could do that and still have a 100 point game touched me. Some very nice speeches by Azzi, Edwards and Sam afterwards. Lots of fun. It really did feel more like a beginning of something else than an end. Janey Elliott JaneyEl@msn.com ***********
Hi Everyone! I have been 'off' the list since Thursday night and was heartened upon my return this AM to read all the recaps of the game last night. Some of the recaps reminded me of things I saw, and others still pointed out things I missed. Yeah, I was there (running around like the proverbial chicken/head thing), but much like some fast-paced movies, I would have to see this event over and over to catch everything! As I start to recover from this weekend (and after I get some work done this morning), I'll try to post more later today and in the coming days about my experiences. I also want to send a few kind words about some very special people involved with this event. I am writing now about the wonderful folks at DeAnza. They outdid themselves, and I will also write more about that later, but specifically I wanted to tell you that THEY KEPT STATS!!! Unfortunately by the time I got my hands on them, most of the media who had requested them were MIA. So you probably won't see them in the papers. I did hand a copy to Real Sports Magazine and Tracie of West. I just ran down to my car to check, but the box with the stats is at home and I am here at work. Soooo...please be patient, and tomorrow I will post the complete stats of the game. Yes, DeAnza even managed to keep stats on Sam based on which team she was on at the time! Amazing!! Deb D'Spain Deb_D'Spain@intuit.com ***********
I'm home and wound up from a fantastic weekend! I met so many great people while down there. My thanks to all the Beam Team for hangin together. I'd especially like to thank the following people who were so gracious to me and allowed me to be an honorary staff member and feel like a part of making this happen - that staff badge (and accompanying lanyard!) will be special for a long time. Gay Bonnie Hampton Denise Woodard Andi & Mary Lori B & Melanie Lori Rogers Deborah Dixon Jill Prestigiacomo Dave & Marion Cortesi Amy Love & the Real Sports crew for their high level of tolerance Suzie Q Leslie & Robi There were many others whose names escape me. You are all so wonderful for pulling this together, and I know many of you had little time to watch the game you were so busy worrying about the rest of us. I just sat there sobbing at the end when Jen & T & Gay & others talked. This was a hugely emotional moment in my life that no one except those who were there will ever understand. I feel so honored to have been a part of this. Best wishes to all of you. See you at the next stop on the world tour. Cynthia Buchanan (aka Czarina) cynthiab@hevanet.com *************
Doesn't it seem proper to anyone else that Teresa Edwards made the last point? I mean, she was the first player to ever believe in the ABL. Fate or something :D Samantha potts@woodland.net (Potts) *************
Hi, All, Well, we just got home from our limo ride, and (thanks to Lily Wong!) we got to take Clarisse Machanguana to the airport. We were already pretty tired, but it was worth it. The whole weekend was worth it, and yes, we all tried to have even more fun for those of you who couldn't be here. I was happy to finally meet some of the Portland and Seattle members of the list. I hope someday we all meet again. (The 2000 Olympics are just around the corner!) Thanks again to Gay and all the committee members for making this actually happen! -- Diana Foster Information Systems dianaf@netscape.com *******************
I returned to Columbus, Ohio, a few hours ago, still in awe over the events of the past weekend. The women in San Jose are the absolute best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the most memorable game ever played by the best in women's basketball. I would like to offer a very, very special "THANK YOU!" to Pat and Nick Hogle, who opened their home to me, a total stranger, for the weekend in order for me to enjoy the hoopSalute weekend. My experience could not have been better. And the best part is the new friendships I have started over the last 3 days. I would also like to thank: Denise Michaels for airport transportation; Susan for talking me into going to the rest room BEFORE the game and not at half-time; the man who stopped bidding on Natalie Williams' practice jersey at $200 so I could get it for $205; Pat for the city tours of San Jose ;-); Nick for the education on Barney, and the Corduroy Bears; Cynthia Buchanan for selling her Portland Power autographed basketball to me; and Terry R. for dinner last night and the ABL poster. All my love, to all of you.... Kirstie kirstie@beol.net *****************
Hi, I wanted to share how wonderful this weekend was for me. While there were some tense moments in putting this all together, the committee showed such class, commitment and dedication that there really wasn't any way that it couldn't have been this successful. I was honored to speak briefly at both the Player Reception and at the game itself. While I still feel a bit choked up about the end of the ABL, I'm so proud of all of you for making this happen, for ending this on our own terms and for sending the message that quality professional women's sports is important and profitable! :-) As a quick example of how many connections I've been fortunate enough to make with other Laser fans: my chiropractor, my realtor and the couple who encouraged me to take a great vacation were all made at Laser games. Hopefully this "New Girl Network" will continue through the fans list... Thanks again to all who contributed to making it all happen!! :-) Paz, Kristin knoel@cisco.com *****************
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie from Simple Abundance by Sara Ban Breathnach Now I can let go. I can heal. Now I can remember, I can focus. And for that I am grateful. I met new friends who shared the same cause, who had the same dream. Thank you. I can let go. I can heal. Until another event, say hoopSalute II..I am at peace. Thanx for the ride. Cathi Clark cclark@hardingmarcom.com ******************
Dave told us a story about something he saw Anna DeForge do. Apparently, a fan asked her at some point if she were going to donate the hat she was wearing to the auction. Anna said "no", and handed the girl her hat. How great is that? What's funny was hearing that she teased her teammate for "stealing it" leaving her with hat hair. She never mentioned her kind act to that fan. Mainly what I remember - the faces of the people in the crowd and the players. Smiles, Smiles and more smiles. It was a day of high energy, laughter, & tears. All in all, for me, a perfect day. Well, I'm out of time for now. I have so many thank yous to say, I think that will have to be in my next installment. Long live the spirit of hoopSalute !!!!! Lori Lori_T_Rogers@notes.seagate.com *****************
"Published Monday, January 25, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News" "It took four hours of skills games, singing, dancing and basketball to get it done, but the ABL ended with a party, not a wake." "More than 1,600 fans at the announced sellout watched Lasers Coach Angela Beck -- whose team beat Portland Coach Lin Dunn's team 101-100 -- throw her jacket on the floor during a tense moment one more time before it was auctioned off with players' knee pads and shoes. They saw Azzi's sister, Susanne Kramer of Davis, slip into the game for a few minutes in Jennifer's No. 8 jersey." "They saw Olympian Teresa Edwards, the ABL's second-leading career scorer and member of the league's board of directors, win the game on an inbounds play under the basket at 0:00." "The future was on the mind of many of the fans as they celebrated the past." "``There has to be something in the (sports) world little girls can aspire to other than figure skating and gymnastics,'' said Sue Crissman of Mountain View. ``Both are fraught with poison. They send the message that sports is all over-coached, driven to anorexia and ruining their bodies instead of doing something healthy.''" See: http://www.mercurycenter.com/premium/sports/docs/abl20.htm I haven't found the stats, yet... - John jsage@finchhaven.com http://www.finchhaven.com/ ******************
Just wanted you all to know that Ilana was in seventh heaven after this weekend! She was so thrilled to participate--first in the kids clinic and then to be a ball girl! Plus we loaned a ball to the 3-point contest and got it autographed when we got it back. And we wound up with a few momentos from the silent auction. Ilana was so excited that when we got home she took out ALL of her basketball memorabilia--balls, programs, posters, pictures, cards, etc.--and put it around the room. Then she had an auction and made my husband and I bid on everything there. It was so cute--you should have seen it! I want to thank everyone that put this weekend together. You did a terrific job--it was absolutely amazing and very well run. It was a privilege to be able to participate in this. As Yogi Berra used to say, "It ain't over, till it's over." Somehow I don't think this chapter of women's basketball is quite over yet... Linda popky@newhome.Eng.Sun.COM *********************
Gee, it sounds like some people might be interested in a tape of the game? Do I hear a YES!!! hoopSalute found 2 wonderful guys, Steve and Roger, who donated their time and taped the game. Steve is in the process of reviewing and editing the film now and we hope to have something available in a couple of weeks. Our intention is to provide a tape that will capture all the pre game, game, half time and post game activities. Cost hasn't yet been determined, but all proceeds from tape sales will go to charity. Please watch the list for further information. We have one small problem that I hope one of you fans can help us with. During the 3 point prelims, our cameramen both taped the same basket! If anyone has a tape of the prelims that has footage of the basket closest to the entrance (Dunn's end), please email me privately. We'd like to borrow your tape and will return it unharmed with a complimentary copy of the hoopSalute tape. If you're in the San Jose area, I'll just pick it up from you. I would also like to take this time to publicly thank Gay, all my fellow volunteers (I have never worked with such a tireless, talented, dedicated group of people), the players and coaches, Leisa Fearing for keeping the list up and running, and especially all you great fans who believed we could pull this off. You came from the San Jose area, as well as other points across the country and you made all the time and effort we put into this completely worth it. I remember walking into the gym and seeing all those fans in the bleachers, knowing we had a lot more outside. I really didn't know where we would put everyone. I never heard any of you complain about being squashed together and your behavior was exemplary. Several times I was crouched against the wall under the basket by Dunn's bench and looked up at the stands on both sides as you all watched the game. Each time I got this big lump in my throat. I can't really tell you how I felt. I could have spent the whole game crying, but there was still work to be done. My only regret is that I wasn't able to meet most of you and talk to you personally. I have no idea where this effort will lead, but I do know what we accomplished was very special and we should all be proud of that. Deborah dixons1@pacbell.net ***************
And how could I forget ... The huge ovation given to Klik when she came into the gym. Helping sell T-shirts -- everyone was so excited about getting T-shirts and the team photos. Ball girls and refs coming out for their own T-shirts, various people running out for more shirts for the players (somehow they never wanted a medium!), one ball girl coming out for T-shirts for the player "I can't say her name" - I assume she meant Naomi. :) Everyone with their knees in the back of other people, hip-bone to hip-bone, having to make parts down the blenchers for someone to get out -- And no one minding at all! Sheri dancing with Klik and mimicing her moves. The Yell Kids doing their routine at a quarter break and Club 55 making their presence felt. Driving Diane around and getting to know her. Meeting people and recognizing each other (thanks Pink for the name tag!) Beck drumming up business for the live auction and the men who took her ragging on them with good nature. And ... Dunn and Beck grooving with Klik!! I laughed so hard! They were totaling hamming it up, especially Dunn. I do have bleacher sores today, but my hubby has it much worse -- not as much natural padding! (Our bleacher kept trying to separate on us too, our section had to get up occasionally and push it back together.) --rebekah lasersfan@riddlemaster.com ***************
Along with everyone else... I can't believe how great I felt last night after such a wonderful week-end. However, somehow I'm feeling like I'm about to miss something very much. I don't think the reality of "no more games" has really hit me yet. Somehow I'm expecting some other meeting or game or another opportunity to get together with all of you. I guess thinking we have something else to do keeps me from getting teary eyed. Call it denial... It was a great pleasure and honor to work with some very powerful, capable and respectful women and men. It does make returning to "work" hard even though I love what I do. I was so impressed, as Deb wrote, how we blended so well as if we had been doing this for a long time. There was a sense of knowingness that takes a long time to cultivate, yet we had it almost immediately. Some of my memories.....going into the player's locker rooms with my arms full of their stuff to get them autographed. I'm holding Teresa Edwards jersey, Jennifer Azzi's shoes, Omi's shirt..... WOW! Past and future Olympic players!! And it was like nothing... just hanging out with the girls in the gym.... Getting a hug and a kiss on the cheek from Laurie Byrd as if she were my close friend or cousin.... Great!!! Holding Omi's hair so it wouldn't get into her eyes as she autographed her fathers sweatshirt... Mostly, I remember the overwhelming feeling in my chest and stomach and tears in my eyes when all of us were in the middle of the floor hearing the claps and cheers from the fans!!! For that moment... they choose to become our fans. It was the highest compliment one can get. The second highest compliment is to be acknowledged by your peers and to know you did a great job and that you were a part of a great time in history. You all did a great job! I'm very proud of you and I'm very proud of us!!!! Gracias por todo, mis amigas!!! Zandra Zspine@aol.com ************
In a message dated 1/25/99 5:04:24 PM Pacific Standard Time, Deb_D'Spain@intuit.com writes: << I have been struggling with a way to describe what happened next. The cohesiveness of our group -- it was as if we had been working together for years. The trust level was so high. There were no ego's involved. We didn't have time to second-guess anyone, or wait around for an answer if one was needed. If I had to make a comparison, I would have to point to the '96 Olympic gold-medal women's basketball Dream Team. The best of the best, passing the ball without even having to look because you knew where your teammates were standing at all times. snip I just don't think I can do justice to exactly what I am trying to explain. It appears my ability to communicate effectively has slipped away. Thankfully, words did not escape me (often) until AFTER game day!! >> You hit it right on the head. You just explained why players play this game. It's why I've loved this game for about 40 years now. Whenever I hear a great player retire he/she doesn't talk about the trophies. They talk about their teammates just like you just did. John Lompican44@aol.com ****************
let me say if we have any thing to say about it, it ain't over yet. This is just the beginning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I heard Teresa Edwards tell a reporter that there seemed to be interest in doing this event in other ABL areas. I say let's go for it. It would take a lot of work, but if I could be paid for this job I would quit this one and go for it. I feel this let's the world see we can have fun and still play top notch basketball. Hey committee what do you think? Could it be done again, (not us but an organization). PS. I would do it again in a heart beat. Bonnie Hampton BonnieHa@DiamondMM.com **************
Well, you'll be happy to hear that the weekend was a huge success. The only downside -- no mall time for the kids. We had kind of a delay in getting them picked up at the airport, so they missed that opportunity. It was quite an adventure. Some brave soul had volunteered her living room floor for them to sleep on. We didn't quite connect before I left for San Jose, an hour or two before they did. I wound up putting them up at a hotel, which turned out to be a good thing -- they were up most of the night rehearsing, editing their tape, etc. They are an incredibly nice bunch of kids -- very disciplined and serious about their dancing. They say grace as a group before they eat. They have plenty of energy, believe me. It was pretty interesting travelling as a group of 11. We were quite an oddity, I guess. Their act at the game was a big hit. They did their one long number, but didn't get as many opportunities for free-form dancing as I would have hoped. The volunteers did a great job of putting the event together, but had difficulties with a few minor difficulties like getting the music going during breaks in the game. The best part, however, was that the volunteers had arranged limos for transporting the players. They had a BIIIGGG stretch limo take the kids to dinner and then to the airport. When I met them back at the airport, after a couple of (very quiet kid-free hours), I asked how the limo was. They said, "nice". I think that translates as an experience they won't forget soon. It may have been the craziest thing I've ever done, but I feel very blessed to have been part of this. I've had several people make donations directly to me. It doesn't really matter, though. The entire weekend was magical, and I'm feeling very lucky to have been there. -----Original Message----- From: Jean Godden <jgod-new@seatimes.com> To: Janey Elliott <JaneyEl@email.msn.com> Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 10:29 AM Subject: Re: Thanks! Thanks to you. Hope that all went well with the HoopSalute and the Yell Kids. I felt a little chagrinned that I had not better told people what to do with their money. (I had several calls and directed them to the Rainier Community Center.) You must realize that I almost NEVER do anything socially worthwhile. (It's not part of my job description.) But this really hit home for some reason. Blessings, Jean Janey Elliott wrote: Jean -- Sorry to take so long to respond, but my email was down all last night (gasp! -- terrible timing). I didn't see the paper Wednesday night, but copies were flying at me when I got to work Thursday morning. Thank you so much for the coverage of the game and the Yell Kids, and for its prominent placement in your column. I had no idea -- I was hoping for maybe an inch. I don't know how many non-on-line local fans even knew about the game, but they sure do now. So far, a few donations have come in both directly to me and the Community Center. Will keep you posted. And by the way, Tammy Holder appeared on the Seattle email list a couple nights ago and announced she was thinking of putting on a pro-am tournament as a fund-raiser for the unemployed players. I'm guessing we've not heard the last of the Reign and the ABL in Seattle. Thanks again. Janey Elliott JaneyEl@email.msn.com ************
What a tremendously enjoyable weekend! What a game! What a fabulous crowd. While standing in line waiting to get in, Vera and I were interviewed by Foxsports. When I got home I saw myself on channel 2. 10:00 News. Thank You Players for a wonderful experience and I was happy to meet so many wonderful people. Even the Seattle fans in the front of the line! I am very happy to have been a part of such a great effort! Cec Varao cecv@cag2.mfg.sgi.com *******************
I'm back in Oxford, Ohio, but I wish I were still in San Jose. I am at a loss for words to describe what an experience the weekend was or to adequately express my thanks to all who were involved. You are all the best - and Denise, you go one step beyond that. I hope to see all of you again either when I return for the Final Four or next November when I'll be out there with the Miami University Women's Basketball team. Or, better yet, I have nothing on my schedule for February. How about another hoopSalute? Mike Michael R. Detcher miamiu@one.net ****************
Howdy, all. Although I had to work today and couldn't attend, I'll make my own contribution: I've posted the article that will appear in tomorrow's CC Times about the game. It's at http://www.hotcoco.com/stories/hoops0125.htm Sounds like it was a fabulous day. Enjoy the article. Chris cardinal91@angelfire.com ****************
And so there are Diana and Sharon wiping their eyes on the front page of the Mercury News. I was right behind them a couple of rows up doing the same thing at the same time as I imagine most of the 2000 people there last night were. I dreamed about hoopSalute all night and it was the first thing I thought of this morning. Yes, it's time to move on but there will never be a time when I forget. Laura LSMant@aol.com ****************
Thank you everyone, once again, for everything.... It was absolutely wonderful....... Thanks to everyone on the list, that has posted, for sharing your memories it makes everything that happened just that much more real. Our trip back last night was longer then usual, the pass was closed due to snow, we had to go around through the high desert, that added 2 hours to the trip, I got home at 3 this morning, needless to say I was useless at work.....Our local paper, the City of Pomona based, Progress Bulletin, actually has the AP article along with a photo of Teresa Edwards (she was awesome) and Natalie Williams, on the second page of the sports section. I couldn't believe it. but of course nothing in the LA Times........ I actually got an added treat.... While in line waiting for the doors to open I got to hear Ducky Sherwood practice her singing and yes per her E-mail I could vouch to the fact that she did know every 6th person there....... :) Maria C Guerrero lunacreciente-gnh@juno.com ***********
Janey - you are amazing. The Yell Squad (called them kids and got told they were a SQUAD! - even using "people" wasn't satisfactory!) was quite an addition to hoopSalute. Bravo to you for being brave enough (or crazy enough) to even dream of getting them here. It was quite an experience for them, I gathered. I was only sorry they didn't have more time here. They kept asking where downtown was and it was hard to explain that Cupertino doesn't have a downtown and downtown San Jose isn't really a place to shop or hang out. It was so great that Denise was able to arrange for them to be taken out in a limo and shown a good time. They'd been pretty impressed when we pulled into De Anza behind a limo. I felt bad that they were crammed into my beat up old mini van! Cheers to them and to you for becoming a part of hoopSalute. Deb D'Spain - I thought you described your feelings very well. Lasers faithful (and other ABL supporters) are special people. Ask and it's given, not just once, but ten times over. To have an abundance of volunteers is an incredible blessing. Who ever heard of too many volunteers for anything??? And to meet people with whom you have only shared basketball games and email is terrific fun. Especially when they turn out to be just as dedicated, enthusiastic, committed, and crazy as you are! Thanks for all you did! Joanne and others who came in for the weekend - BRAVO to you. Some of you came from FAR away to attend this celebration. Loved seeing those ABL, Columbus, Power, Reign, and other shirts all over the place. I really got a kick out of standing and waiting at the airport in my Lasers gear looking for someone wearing ABL gear. No signs necessary. (And I again apologize for taking you the LOOOONG route from the airport to your hotel!) I am not good at figuring out what is next but I will jump right in as soon as someone announces that they are taking over and are ready to make something happen. Whatever it is, it will be an adventure and a whole heck of a lot of fun! Laura LSMant@aol.com ***************


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