Hello! One of our staff members as well as a Nevada basketball player traveled to China recently. She has written a 3 part series about her experience. Hope you all enjoy!
China Part 1
After completing my basketball career at the University of Nevada I did not think I would be competing again. It was not that I did not wish too, but rather my future plans were about applying to several grad schools and working at a summer internship. When the call came in that I had been selected to play for an All-Star Women’s Basketball Team that would represent the USA in China I was ecstatic and completely shocked that I was being offered such an amazing opportunity. However, I was also extremely nervous because I would be leaving in less than 1 week to play on a team with other girls that had never played together before. We would be playing against the China National Team, Czech Republic National Team, and the Canadian World University Team; all of who had just completed their 6-week training camps. After meeting my teammates at the airport for our flight to Wuhan, we all decided that we would not let ourselves be intimidated simply because these teams had been playing together longer than us.
We all boarded the plane ready for China and ready to show everyone what USA basketball was capable of. What had slipped our minds though was the 14-hour plane ride to reach our destination. Many people will agree that 14-hours is a long time to spend sitting on a plane. Since this was my first time traveling outside of the North American continent, I was unaware of things I should have been doing to make it through the flight. I did not know that I was supposed to get up every 2-3 hours to walk around and stretch my legs. Instead, I would get up when I needed to use the lavatory or sometimes when I simply felt the need to be out of my seat. I ended up moving out of my seat about 5 times the entire flight. Upon our arrival into China I instantly felt the consequences of my decision to stay seated for a majority of the flight. My body felt as if it had aged 50 years. My ankles had swollen to the size of calves, my knees felt like they both had extreme cases of arthritis, and my hips were definitely in need of a double hip replacement ASAP!
Luckily we had arrived in China a few days before we were scheduled to start playing so I was able to spend those days trying to regain my range of motion and get my body feeling like normal. I spent those 2 days foam rolling every muscle I could when I could and working through dynamic stretches before and after we had practices. Many of my teammates did the same as we all wanted to start off the tournament felling as loose and flexible as we could, especially since we knew we would be playing 6 back-to-back-to-back games over the next week. Though we were able to loosen up our stiff muscles and regain our range of motion, our relief was short as after the first few days we once again became sore due to so much activity in such a short amount of time.