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Angels on the Hardwood ~ No. 1

Angels on the Hardwood ~ No. 1

RALEIGH, N.C. - Meredith Avenging Angel Kim Hinton contributes the first in her blog series this winter. Follow the basketball team's success beginning with Saturday's season opener in Virginia.

As college athletes, we know that we have this amazing opportunity to do what we love in the world of sports. In early June of this year, I suffered a severe ankle injury that reminded me that being able to compete at the college level is a blessing few have been granted.

After just barely falling short of the USA South tournament last season, the Meredith women's basketball team has been hard at work. We trained in the preseason with our awesome strength and conditioning coach, Dawn Malone, to be prepared for the upcoming season.

We are returning eight players to the floor this year along with six new incoming freshmen. Senior Tyler Gresham and junior McKenzi Edwards were elected captains to lead us. Seniors Nika Jones and Tyler; juniors Key Bailey, McKenzi and Diana Owens; and sophomores "Q" Hairston, Raven Gregory and me make up the veteran squad.

Unfortunately, junior guard/forward Danielle Lee will be out for the season due to a season-ending injury from soccer, as well as senior Brittany "BB" Baker. However, they will be supporting us from the bench this season. We wish Danielle a full and speedy recovery with high hopes of her return next season!

The six new players rounding out the roster include Asia Milton, Maddie Heverly, Taylor White, Nicole Miller, Jessi Hayes and Alyssa Codispoti, giving us a deep bench of fifteen.

To date we have competed in two scrimmages, one against Cape Fear Community College and the other against Wake Tech. If there is one thing I have learned while playing basketball in college, its that scrimmages are essential to exposing weaknesses for teams early on in the season. Most importantly, I think these scrimmages serve as valuable reminders to returning players and allow the freshman to get their feet wet as they enter into a whole new level of basketball - and I mean an entirely new level.   

As silly as it may sound, I can still remember what flashed though my head at my first scrimmage last year. I remember thinking in those first minutes how much faster the game was played than in high school. I wondered how they even went that fast and then realized "Oh, now I go that fast too."

As a second-year player, I remember how much those early scrimmage experiences helped me prepare for the season ahead. These two were no different for our freshmen this year. Asia did an excellent job running the point, and Jessi also contributed as a guard.

Even though we may not have come out with the W's for which we were hoping, both scrimmages have shown us places for improvement as a team and individually.

Practices have been structured to help us mend these holes in our game. Each of us worked individually before and after practices and during the ten o'clock hour in preparation for our Washington and Lee Tip-Off Tournament this weekend.