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Basketball is more than just a sport. Ever since my dad took me to the park and taught me to how to play 15 years ago, I have loved everything about it. I love going to games, from the Lakers to USC athletics to my little sister’s games! I love watching basketball on TV and listening to the announcers comment, but nothing is quite like being on the court yourself.

On the court, I feel like a superstar. Suddenly, I am fearless, able to challenge any player no matter how tall or how good. Tying up my shoelaces, I can already feel the blood running through my veins, preparing me for what is about to happen. As I begin to warm up, I lose myself in my focus on the court. Basketball taught me discipline: how to wake up at 5AM consistently, how to go through repetitive motions and be patient for success, how to not be afraid to take a risky move and learn from it. But basketball was more than an individual experience; it was a course in social interactions and networking. I learned how to work well on a team with a great group of girls, and basketball brought me closer with my own family.

I come from a large family (two sisters and a brother), and we all play basketball. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to bring my little brother to USC’s women’s basketball game against the University of Colorado. The day began with an incredible breakfast buffet hosted by USC. The buffet included 5 different types of pancakes, eggs, potatoes, pastries, and fresh fruit. It was so delicious, look for yourself!

Michael Cooper, a former Lakers player and LA Sparks coach who now coaches the USC women’s team, even came in for a few minutes to speak to the guests about the season. Mr. Cooper was so positive and friendly, really making us all feel comfortable and welcome. At this point, my brother was in awe– Mr. Michael Cooper himself! Wow!

For those of you who don’t know, Michael Cooper is kind of a big deal…I mean he is the only person to win a championship, as either a coach or a player, in the NBA, WNBA, and the NBA Development League. And he was once the NBA defensive player of the year, playing alongside Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! Imagine the excitement.

Next, we went to the main gym to wait for the game. Lights, cameras, Song Girls, Dance Force, USC spirit leaders, and the USC marching band, the Spirit of Troy, all greeted the girls as they came onto the court.

It was incredible to watch the sport that I love with my friends and my brother. I could not have been happier! We watched from the front row, cheering and yelling “DEFENSE!” My 10-year old brother even explained some calls to my friends. Yes, we really love basketball, and in a family of three girls, we are used to watching (and loving) women’s basketball.

Dressed in USC gear, we took some fabulous pictures with the USC spirit leaders and song girls.

Needless to say, this was an experience that I will never forget. I mean, how often can you get pancakes coupled with basketball, USC, celebrities, and good friends?

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