April 3, 2004
Friday, April 2, we had yet another 8 a.m. Wake-up call. Again after eating breakfast, we had a light walk-thru of our opponents strategies, then we were off to the Alamo Dome, where the tournament is being held, to practice.
I had spoken with some of my coaches, and they told me, roughly, how it would be during our practice. You see, this practice is open to the public and it is free, so anyone, whether they have tickets to the Final Four or not, may come see us practice. This goes for each team, but we were the first one to practice.
The crowd was quite large, amounting about 4 or 5 thousand. This was less than expected because, unlike the beautiful, sunny Thursday we had, it was pouring down rain. It was absolutely storming outside! Nevertheless, we had a very good practice, and I’m sure the audience was entertained. This was evidenced by the screams and shouts that reigned out as we went through our warm up drills.
After practice, back in the locker room, we got about 5 or 10 minutes to relax before the news cameras and reporters poured in. Some of us had to do interviews and press conferences while others just sat back and ate sandwiches.
The amount of reporters that came in was ridiculous! there had to be, literally, about 75 reporters with everything ranging from video cameras and note pads to microphnes hooked up to mini-disc recorders. It was, as they say, “a media frenzy”!
After the interviews and everything, we had to go get fitted for our rings, which we all get for making it to the Final Four. The eventual champion receives a gold ring, while the other three teams get their’s in silver. We then had to attend a preventive session on gambling, the notable individuals that engaged in it, and the consequences of their actions.
When we left the Alamo Dome, we stopped by the George Washington Carver Academy. What made this trip so special was the fact that former San Antonio Spurs player, and NBA All-Star, David Robinson was there. He started this school three years ago for under-privileged children through his own funds as well as that provided by such organizations as Nike, the NBA, and even the San Antonio Spurs, not to mention individual donations by former teammates.
After leaving the school we went back to the hotel to rest up before dinner, after which, we watched more film of our opponent, went over a few detailed items, and hit the sack. The day was fairly busy, but everyone, from the trainers and managers straight to the coaches enjoyed it all.
Now all we have to do is go out and play our game on Saturday, executing offensively and defensively the way we know we are capable of doing so, and play as a family. It should be a great show, to all of the fans delightment.