With a weekend sweep of the Washington schools, head coach Tara VanDerveer became just the fifth Division I basketball coach to reach 900 victories at one school. No. 6 ranked Stanford (16-1, 6-0 Pac-12) was unrelenting in a 91-54 win over Washington (8-10, 1-5 Pac-12) on Friday in anticipation of a career performance by senior forward Alanna Smith on Sunday to defeat Washington State (7-11, 2-5) by a score of 85 to 64.
I want you to be really honest with yourself when thinking about the following question. Sit with your instinctual answer. Would you be surprised upon hearing that a highly touted college athlete, primarily known for their athletic capabilities, is also an aspiring mechanical engineer, with a 3.7 GPA? Why are you surprised? Where does such a concrete divide between athlete and student come from? Why is there a line at all? Why do you have to be either a student or an athlete? In this realm, you can be either blue or red in the crayon box, and mouths drop when there’s purple.
As much as material things have their place in our lives, it is the interactions with people who make our lives feel most full, and people who teach us the most. It is important to live in the moment, and enjoy those around us in our immediate presence. It is important to be able to reflect upon those who have paved our path, and guided us to new ones. We fail to see all of these people, as we bounce from one endeavor to the next. Just because something or someone is important, doesn’t mean we always acknowledge it/them.
Athletes do not have everything given to them. They do not have a guaranteed job after college through their sport. The reality is that the majority of us don’t.
Stanford women’s basketball guard and columnist for The Stanford Daily Mikaela Brewer joins us to talk about the different initiatives she has been a part of to help athletes deal with the stigma of mental health especially among college athletes. Freshman writer King Jemison comes on to recap the Cardinal and White Spring game that occurred over the weekend. And we end the episode with two segments: Cardinal of the Week and Games we are excited about.
We’re human. In being human, we take things for granted. Our mental well being is one of those things. We rely on certain consistencies in our lives, things we expect to always be there. The key word in the previous sentence was ‘lives’, something we often forget how lucky we are to have, until one is taken from us. And usually only then are we humbled.
It’s not easy being surrounded by the best all of the time, but in itself it is the best place to be. Inspiration drives a lot of things, and how to be inspired has been one of the biggest lessons that I have learned through sport. To me, there is a huge difference between working for something because you are inspired, and because you are jealous or envious.
If I could pinpoint one thing that people often miss in sport, it would be character, and how we build it in context. Character is what makes an individual unique, an athlete unique and any team of people unique. What’s not seen are the experiences that build it.