Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Turtle Fest Feast. The Terps held their annual team banquet on Monday night at Martin's Crosswinds in Greenbelt. The BasketCases sent a representative, of course. We apologize to our loyal blog readers for this delay in posting, but our faithful computer picked this week to just die on us. That's the bad news. The good news is that it waited until after the end of the college season to do so, and hopefully has given us sufficient time before the WNBA season starts to get a new one and have it humming along perfectly before tip off. Of course, we never intended to be beta testers for Bill Gates's new Vista operating system, but so it goes. (If anyone has any thoughts about the merits of the different versions of Vista or anything else on new computers, by all means leave us a comment or send us an email. We aren't as computer nerdy as you may think from this blog!!) The death of our computer also means that we can't bring you all of the photos we wanted to share with you from the banquet (including one of the evening's consensus DIVA, Crystal Langhorne), since our backup laptop doesn't have any photo editing software on it. Just use your imagination!!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled coverage of basketball . . . The banquet was huge fun as always. This year, though, with the upcoming graduation of Shay Doron and Aurelie Noirez, there were also some four-hanky moments, particularly when Shay and Aurelie each broke down in tears as they thanked their teammates and coaches for their four incredible years here. Shay in fact started to thank "Coach B" for "allowing me to share your vision," but got so emotional, she couldn't manage to get the words out.

The biggest surprise of the night was that Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was the MC!! (As ESPN viewers know, Lieberman has legally changed her first name to "Hall of Famer Nancy." For brevity, however, we will call her by her nickname, Nancy.) As members of Nancy's generation and great admirers of what Nancy has meant to women's basketball, the BasketCases were pretty excited that she was there. And, in fact, Nancy turned out to be charming, funny, and wonderfully self-deprecating.

Now, on to a few photos:

Shay Doron signing the first of what we hope will be countless WNBA basketballs.

As the players started to arrive, the room began to look like a M*A*S*H unit. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood just had surgery on her patella. She said that her rehab will take six months (gulp). Ashleigh Newman was also on crutches, having just had some cartilage cleaned out of her knee. Christie Marrone was still on crutches because of a late-season stress fracture. And Emery Wallace will soon be on crutches herself, as she's having yet another knee surgery very soon. We wish ALL of these players a speedy and successful recovery!! And no injuries to anyone else!!

Marissa Coleman making the rounds during dinner.

The team on display as they ate. The room itself was rather garish, with mirrored walls and even a mirrored ceiling. Apparently, it's used for wedding receptions and Bar Mitzvahs.

Former Maryland Associate Head Coach and newly-appointed Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz was in attendance. We appreciated having the opportunity to say goodbye to him and wish him well in person. Speaking of moving on . . . Coach Frese announced that Mark Pearson, the Director of Basketball Operations, is leaving to return to Iowa. The players gave him the greatest compliment they could by telling Coach B to "hire someone exactly like Mark." As Coach B said, Mark is so terrific that will be a difficult thing to do. The BasketCases wish Mark all the best (and hope he doesn't eat too many loose meat sandwiches once he gets home, and doesn't forget to return all those Tickle-Me-Elmo cellphones before he leaves town!)

Nancy Lieberman breaking bread with Ashleigh Newman and Laura Harper.

Proud Mamas: Tamari Doron and Peggy Toliver. Mrs. Doron told us that she was so happy when Shay was drafted by the NY Liberty she was in tears. We told her that we were in tears watching her on TV.

Together again for the last time: the 2006-07 Maryland Women's Basketball Team.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases


At 4:24 PM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

The banquet was truely one of the best I've been to. It was one of the most emotional goodbyes, for me also, to Shay and Aurelie. It took everything I had to keep myself together when I gave Shay her scrapbook from the Rebounders and I wasn't even the person who put it together. I was very appreciative of that opportunity.


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