July 27, 2007
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series of diary entries by Notre Dame rising sophomore guard Melissa Lechlitner during her first stint with a USA Basketball team, playing for the U.S. U19 World Championship Team. Today, Lech lets us in on an international showdown at the team hotel, and sends us a couple of photos from earlier in her trip).
Wednesday July 25th
Since our practice today was not scheduled until 7 at night, we had all day to relax here in Bratislava. We woke up and ate breakfast and then went back to our rooms and took a nap. Yeah, I know — back to bed right after breakfast, but eating can take a lot out of you! ha ha After our naps, we all got together and went to the store a few blocks away. Basically we all got chips, cookies, and juice because we haven’t had a lot of chances to eat things like that. Even though we’re getting a chance to try some new and different foods over here, sometimes you just want stuff that reminds you of home. 🙂 After the store we had lunch and then hung around the hotel a bit. Later that night we had practice for a little over an hour and then we came back to the hotel for a late dinner.
Now, the entertainment options are a bit limited over here, especially for people our age, so we have to improvise and create some of our own fun, especially at night. So tonight, we had a dance party in the hallway. The Serbian team had the same idea and were trying to outdo us on the other side of the hall. Eventually, we had a bit of a “dance-off”. First, they did a little Serbian dance and then we did our Superman dance that we have been working on the past few days. Then, they would do another jig-type dance and then it was our turn. It was hilarious until our coaches broke it up because we had curfew!!!
Lech (left), Angie Bjorklund (center) and Jantel ‘Juice’ Lavender (right) during one of their many bonding sessions on this memorable adventure.
I love all the girls on the team. Our team is so fun and the time seems to be flying by!!! We always find something to do together and have a great time even if it’s just hanging in my room and talking (I’m a bit of a “social coordinator” I guess). I also have an awesome roommate. Her name is Jantel Lavender (we call her Juice) and she’s going to Ohio State. We practically stay up every night talking and hanging out together. We are having a lot of fun.
Thursday July 26th
Finally, we get to play a real game, after all the trials, training camps, exhibitions, lost luggage and other adventures … it’s really here! But of course, when you’ve been waiting as long as we have to play, time can seem to last FOREVER!!! We had to sit in the hotel all day, after our breakfast and shootaround from 11 to 12. Then we came back to the hotel and some of us took a nap or just hung around. We had our pre-game meal at four and then a few of us watched the movie “Jersey Girl” to kill the rest of the time before our game. Our game was against Ivory Coast and they were not that great of a team. We won 95-25 … not exactly a competitive game but China will be a different story.