You put about twelve to fifteen characters together for five to eight hours a day on the court, in the locker room, at training tables, on airplanes, in hotels, etc., and you're bound to come up with some great material. Too bad most of it is off limits to the average internet passerby. However, I don't think a brief summary of individuals and their personalities could do much harm.
To help I've come up with three categories which might help a little, but not too much, because no two of us are even close to being very much alike.
"I'm 6'7''. People are going to look at me. I might as well give them something to look at." Chandra Benton
They don't mind being called "the bigs". They love it. They flaunt it. There's this presence they have that you really have to see to believe. When they walk into a room they not only fill it up with their size and numbers, but with their voices, their songs, their laughter, and their great smiling faces. We have several dominant personalities on our team and most of them fall into this category. Big. And proud.
They pick on us, but we fight back, carefully. We threaten to not pass them the ball. They threaten to not outlet it after their rebounds. Of course, that leaves Olympia as their point guard and Jamila posting up for us, so we usually make up pretty quick. They know to be nice to us on big-little chase day. We know to be nice to them 95% of the time. The other 5 we get really cocky and adventurous, and plan for a hit and run type escape. Actually, we lose our minds for a split second and end up paying a pretty steep price.
They have this tag team system that has been destroying opponents for as long as I've been here. So many of them. So big. So strong. And the poor weaklings on the other team don't even know what hits them as they come in one after another. They run the floor. Excuse me. They sprint the floor. They helpthe helper. They box out and rebound. They cannot forget "you get subbed out." And when Anne isn't whistle happy they throw our shots towards the water and the managers have to go get another ball. And we always know that noone (else) is going to mess with us, because they've got our back.
The little people. Their numbers have dwindled recently, but we're bringing in a whole new crop in September. They're fast. They're sneaky. They've got quick feet, quicker hands, and know how to catch your left hand when you're crossing over from your right. They're not always the brightest - they tend to talk s**t to the bigs. They've got "little's pride" and hold their heads really high. I think they're just trying to fit in with the rest of us or keep their heads out of our armpits.
They're defensive stoppers and offensive threats. They pressure the ball and push the ball and after a year or two in their careers even shoot the ball. They have to know which defense we're running, which offense we're running, and be able to convince us and the coaches about what the other team is running. All we have to do is remember to ask them what to do, and point at them whenever we aren't doing the right thing.
They always make us play post at tryouts. Nobody can ever figure out whether we are guards or forwards. The bigs pick on us. The little's disown us, unless of course they need help with ganging up against the bigs. At times we've each been a big or a little, but they won't admit it. For the most part, we aren't as loud as the bigs or as proud as the littles. We're kind of a blend, a mixture, somewhere in between. We're not exactly sure where. We can see the world from both sides, because at some point in our careers we were post players, but we just couldn't compete down there with the bigs. So we pulled out onto the perimeter with the littles and we're shyly looking for acceptance in a new group, but they aren't too quick to let us in.
"I don't have a conscience. I'd shoot from the locker room." An anonymous tweener
We're the three point shooters, bombers, or chuckers, depending upon the situation. We try to remember help side. We have to deny on the wing and then box out some super-quick little from the other team. We get it to the low post. We drive in and dish out. We only have to run 33s instead of 31s. Of course, it's not as easy as 35s, but oh well. We stick up for the littles, but then go join the bigs.
You have to appreciate the entertainment of walking through an airport surrounded by 8 young women who are over 6', and 3 over 6'5'', especially when you're all wearing the same big cardinal jacket. The stares and the gaping mouths don't even phase you after the first trip of the year. Except, depending upon the mood, we're often tempted to answer the silent questioners with sarcastic smart ass replies, and some times we do. We might not make too many friends, but often, you just have to go up to the little balding man in the suit who keeps staring and pointing with his friends and say, "yes, she really is tall, it's not just you. Well, maybe it is just you. You really are short."
Just in case you didn't ever realize this, airplanes are not meant for basketball players. If you ever have the opportunity, give us the exit rows. Be compassionate.
We make a lot of noise to go along with all the space we take up. It's always those bigs, you know, just chattering away, telling jokes, and singing, for the most part, pretty terrible versions of once good songs. Actually, sometimes they're pretty good, but I don't want them to get any cockier than they already are. We have to keep their heads small or they'll walk over us more than they already do.
Hotel rooms can get pretty messy. Especially when you have greys and practice jersey's thrown into every possible corner and empty space. Big girls have to pull the sheets out to let their feet hang off the end of the bed. Room service trays often get lost under the bed or under the already played in stanky red uniform.
Pranks and practical jokes abound. You have to always be on your toes, especially if you're a froshie or you're name is Prendy. We laugh. We watch a lot of TV. We eat real food fo a change instead of dorm food. We try to do homework but we know that the TV is just too tempting. By the time we are seniors we don't bother to bring any books. (2nd trip freshman year for some, like me.) We play hard and practice a little lighter than usual. We make up for all the sleep we miss the rest of the time. We kick ass and take names.