By Sammi Goldsmith, senior
I recently worked the Duke University women’s basketball camp. Working a camp at a big-time, Division I basketball school was new to me, but the 7 a.m. alarms and tired legs are something I know very well. Basketball has been a part of my life since the age of five and I love the sport with my whole heart. My college teammates have joked about how I would even marry the game if I could.
I suffered my first career injury during my freshmen year of basketball at Lynchburg College. My meniscus was torn and I missed our conference tournament. This injury served as a huge reality check. I hated being away from the game even just for a little while. That is when I knew that I wanted to get into coaching once my playing days were over.
My coach at Lynchburg College, Coach Pyzik-Smith, has helped guide and inspire me to pursue my coaching dream. She called me into her office one day and told me she talked to someone on staff from Duke women’s basketball and that I could have a position working their program’s summer camp. I was both grateful and ecstatic upon hearing this news. Not only would I get coaching experience, but I would also be doing so in one of my all time favorite places. As a North Carolina native, I’ve been rooting for Duke since I was in middle school.
Working the Duke Women’s Basketball Camp was everything I wanted it to be. Each day the coaches and campers woke up early and our schedule involved non-stop basketball all day, taking breaks only to eat and hear different Duke players talk about the game. I coached my own team and got to know as many campers as possible. I love working with young women who have dreams of being great athletes. Sharing my love of the game is something I am passionate about. These girls were great to work with because they were ambitious about more than just basketball. One of my campers told me she wants to be an astro-physicist, while another said her goal is to be a college basketball player and study to become a cardiologist. My job as a coach was to teach them as much as I could about basketball in a short amount of time, but they inspired me as well. My fellow counselors taught me a lot, too, and generously gave me advice about my future profession. I met numerous Duke women’s players and staff members, along with college and high school coaches from the area who share my passion for coaching women’s basketball.
Working the Duke women’s basketball camp is one example of the numerous doors that have opened as a result of being a student athlete at Lynchburg College. My team volunteers at Special Olympics every year and we are consistently inspired by the hard work, persistence, and utter joy displayed by the athletes. This past year we woke up before sunrise to serve breakfast at a local soup kitchen. We also took it upon ourselves to run 1 million “Yards for Yeardley” during postseason in order to raise awareness for the One Love Foundation and its stance against sexual violence. Not only do these volunteer opportunities open our eyes to how humbling it is to lend a helping hand, but these experiences provide our team with time to bond and grow as a unit of strong women who are more than just athletes. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have been given during my time as a member of the Lynchburg College women’s basketball team.
I honestly don’t know where to begin. What I’ve been saying to parents, professors, classmates, and others since March 2nd is that this program has come so far in the four years that I’ve been here, that this year was a huge step in Lynchburg basketball history, and that we should be proud of what we had accomplished. These statements are all just skimming the surface of what it felt like to experience my last year on this team.
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Guest post by Assistant Coach Ann Dorris ’14
For around 13 years, being a basketball player defined much of my life. I began playing on teams from the second I was old enough and when that final horn blew in the ODAC semifinals last year, I was nowhere near ready to stop. I had all kinds of weird and crazy emotions running through me once I started to realize it was coming to an end. Read more ›
Sophomore Jaimie Grace, a business major and a forward/center on the Hornet women’s basketball team, narrates her unique summer study abroad trip to Australia.
By Jaimie Grace
This summer I traveled to Australia with 19 other Lynchburg College students for a month long study abroad trip. The trip, organized by the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), focused on the study of Australian Public Relations and Australian Character and Culture.
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Rising Senior Lauren Penley, a key member of the Hornet women’s basketball team, had an interesting internship this summer. Here is a summary of her experiences in her own words.
In order to become a veterinarian, you need to experience working with animals in a variety of fields. Previous summers, I’ve worked at a small animal hospital which included dogs and cats and on two different large animal farms, containing cows and horses. However, this summer, I wanted to experience something unique, and accepting an internship at an aquarium seemed like the perfect opportunity. I received an internship at the beautiful Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut.
This aquarium is not your average aquarium. While it does contain many aquatic species, some land animals inhabit it as well. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk focuses on the Long Island Sound and beyond, incorporating sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, harbor seals, meerkats, reef fish, sea turtles, frogs, reptiles, and other several species of fish. I worked with a different aquarist each day of the week and got to experience each section of the aquarium multiple times throughout the three months. Within this aquarium, it was divided into seven sections, including temperate, jellies, seals and otters, shark and rays, frogs and reptiles, reserves, and tropical.
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Note: Hornet sophomore women’s basketball player Sarah Coon spend six weeks this summer studying abroad in Costa Rica. She writes about her trip below:
I was at lunch when I received my acceptance to the study abroad program I had applied to. Shortly after, I set my dates, June 22 to August 3, and chose my destination: Heredia, Costa Rica. The rest of the school year and summer leading up to my date of departure was an anxious waiting game. Then, finally, departure day arrived. With passport in hand, I left my family, friends and comfort zone behind to set out on what would become a life -hanging experience.
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Note: Lynchburg College women’s basketball senior guard Ann Dorris recently spent two weeks in London, England as part of a study abroad program for her English major. Below, she writes about her experience.
At the beginning of this summer, I spent 13 days in the massive and beautiful city of London, England for a study abroad in British Drama and Travel Writing. From the second we stepped off the flight on the morning of May 22, there were tour buses to ride, tube stations to get lost in, and an entire city waiting to be explored. Every single day we had things scheduled starting around 9 a.m. and we weren’t back in our flat until 11 p.m. From classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts to workshops with British actors and directors, our days were filled with academic opportunities found outside of the classroom through first-hand experiences.
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After two years, to say that our program has evolved is a true understatement. I stepped foot onto campus in August, a little over two years ago, with one focus: elevate Lynchburg College Women’s Basketball. To give back to a program, a school, and a community that had given so much to me. I carry the impact from that experience in a special place in my heart daily. This is the compassion I strive to instill in current players. Passionately, I display my pride for the success and hard work of all those involved with this specific program. It’s time to leave a legacy!
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Juniors Ann Dorris and Caleigh Patterson
The most common response I get when telling someone about transferring all the way from Texas, away from my family, friends, and home, is praise for my courage and strength. As much as I would love to accept the praise and pretend my “courage” is what made the transition possible, I can’t. I’ll be the first to say that starting over at a new college and on a new team is a challenge; however, not once did I feel alone or discouraged. My teammates wouldn’t allow it. That is something I’ve learned about being a part of Lynchburg College Women’s Basketball. We are a family. I could talk all day about the hard work and skill, which is in abundance, but I’ve discovered that when a teammate is feeling discouraged, it is not the hard work or skill that picks her up, but the overwhelming sense of family. No matter what, the girl standing next to you is loved and respected by every other girl on the team. That is Lynchburg College Women’s Basketball.
Ann Dorris #23
Class of 2014
Team Introduction at Midnight Madness
Turner gymnasium was stormed by crowds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni on Friday night October 19, 2012. The doors opened at 10 p.m. to long lines of excited fans waiting in anticipation to see the 2012-2013 Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams as well as celebrate the successes of current fall sports. This was just the beginning of the third consecutive Midnight Madness held at Lynchburg College. Students of the Lynchburg College community who attended the event were provided with pizza and plenty of water and lemonade to drink along with a raffle ticket for prizes drawn throughout the evening. Once receiving their evening snack people hurried to find open places in the stands. The night kicked off with President Garren and his wife performing the famous Hornet Hop and continued with the celebration of the fall teams’ successes thus far. Next cheerleaders were introduced and performed an upbeat routine that got the crowd to their feet in spirit. Following the routine the lights went off as members of the 2012-2013 Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams were announced under spotlight. Once all student-athletes were announced the night continued with a 3 point shooting contest, being a fan 101 course, intermixed scrimmage (women’s and men’s teams together) and finally the highly anticipated dunk contest. The night came to an end just at midnight as everyone participated in a group wide dance of “The Electric Slide” and received t-shirts from the event. The evening proved to be very entertaining and enjoyable for all those involved in the effort to show our student-athletes support.