Sophomore forward Kellie Watson talks about her negotiating skills in the shops of Florence, and how athletic tape can fix a jersey problem in a pinch, during her latest diary entry from Italy.

Kellie Watson Diary Entry From Europe - Day 8

May 16, 2009

Editor’s note: During the Notre Dame women’s basketball team’s 10-day foreign tour of Europe, sophomore forward Kellie Watson is filing a daily diary with Michael Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. Following are Watson’s thoughts on the trip with a link to her entry also available on the Journal-Gazette’s web site.

We got to sleep in a little bit this morning and get some more free time to shop. I caved in and bought a leather jacket that I absolutely love. People bought shoes, t-shirts, sandals, jackets, knick-knacks, purses, and travel bags today as well. We were able to bargain a lot of the prices way down to get some really great deals on real Italian leather! Overall, Florence was a big success for every one. Getting all of our purchases to fit into the weight limits on our bags for the flight home might be a big problem, though. 🙂

We boarded our bus once again at about 1:30 in the afternoon for a 4-hour ride to Rome, where we would be playing our third and final game. Many of us slept, some listened to iPods, and the adults in the front of the bus played trivia games and a few rounds of travel Catch-Phrase. We made a stop about two hours into the ride to eat our pre-game meal. Pasta, weird soups, and steak or chicken were our options for dinner, and my tortellini was amazing. We got back onto the bus to finish the final two hours of the leg to Rome.

After some amazing bus entertainment from Becca Bruszewski and Brittany Mallory, we arrived at the gym about three hours before the starting time of our game. Luckily the championship game of the local men’s league was being played in the arena before ours, so we had something to watch while we waited.

Because I know (coordinator of basketball operations) Stephanie Menio has a bunch of pictures of me in a taped-up jersey, I will have to explain my side of the story. Here we go… The uniforms that we have been wearing are just our practice jerseys from last year. We keep all of our game items (jersey, shorts, undershirts, socks, spandex) on loops to keep them situated and together for convenience. My jersey was in my luggage bag under the bus and not with me, so I needed to get under the bus to get it out when we got to the gym. I grabbed my loop and put it in my backpack to take into the gym. When I got to the gym to change, my loop wasn’t in my bag. Knowing that I do dumb things, I figured I put the loop back into my luggage bag so I walked back to the bus to check. Not in my bag. So apparently somewhere between the bus and the gym my whole loop, which weighs about five pounds, disappeared. Still, at this moment, I have no idea where it went, not a clue, so our manager helped me out and taped a number 10 on the front and back of an extra jersey they packed. I spent about half of the game making sure that my tape was staying on my jersey, which of course, it wasn’t. I got a re-taping at halftime, though, so I was good to go after that point. We won the game handily, and our defense looked very good the whole game. We shot extremely well from the floor, 52%, and from the three-point line, 46%.

After the game we took a picture with the other team, like usual, and then headed to our hotel in the center of Rome. We passed about a million fountains, old Roman ruins, and we even caught a glimpse of the Colosseum. Tomorrow, we are taking a long walking tour of the city, seeing the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.

Talk to you tomorrow! GO IRISH!!!

Kellie Watson