Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The North Greenville women's basketball team has officially hit the road and is on the way to the National Collegiate Christian Athletic Association National Tournament. The tournament is being held at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. The Crusaders and three other teams will open the tournament against the three seed Blue Field College on Thursday.

The first day of the trip consisted of about seven hours of travel from Tigerville, South Carolina to northern Kentucky where the ladies would stay for the night. The excitement kicked up a notch on the second day of the trip however as the team had the opportunity to conduct about a one hour practice at the University of Kentucky. The team practiced at historic Memorial Coliseum where the Kentucky men’s team used to play their regular season games (now play at Rupp Arena). The arena is now the home of the Lady Wildcats as well as the practice facility of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The girls have already had a taste of the division one life early in the year when they played NC State in an exhibition game. As one girl put it “We get to have our final practice in a division I facility”. The quote alone shows how special the opportunity was.
The arena had an aura around it for sure. Whether it be the banners commemorating countless titles and awards and the seven national Championships won the men’s team alone, or just the pictures of past teams lining the hallway leading into the arena; there was little doubt that the Kentucky basketball program knows the meaning of success. From Adolph Rupp to Tubby Smith, the Wildcats were and are a basketball dynasty and the proof surrounded the Lady Crusaders as they practiced.
On the way out the girls were able to experience a press conference with head coach Jon Callapari as well as something that may have impacted them more than words can express. Passing through the lobby exiting the building, lined the glass cases with National Championship trophies and SEC tournament victories. Perhaps a motivator to win the little known yet still coveted NCCAA National Championship the team will play for starting Thursday.  

Kentucky Image Gallery (More will be added soon)