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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's basketball

Hoosiers thankful for time with family during 3-day break

As the fall semester transitions from the 12th week of classes to the 13th, students across campus are preparing to go home for Thanksgiving. The three-day break allows students to see their family and friends and recharge for the stretch leading up to finals week.

The students on the women’s basketball team, however, do not get the same holiday experience.

Instead of eating turkey, stuffing and other traditional Thanksgiving foods at home with their relatives, the players are staying in Bloomington to practice and prepare for their Black Friday match up against Toledo.

Despite losing a chance to see their loved ones, the squad members said they don’t plan on letting it get them down.

Junior center Sasha Chaplin said she knows the number-one focus throughout the whole season needs to be basketball, even during holiday breaks.

“At this point ... I want to be playing basketball,” she said. “The team wants to be playing basketball, and we want to get better. We’re constantly practicing and trying to get better, trying to fix the little things we had before break.”

Chaplin said it can easily make the freshmen homesick, but with team bonding and the help of veteran players, it becomes easier as the years go by.

Freshman guard Necole Sterling grew up in northern Virginia. To help keep her mind off being away from her family, she said she plans to use the holiday breaks to grow as close to her new Bloomington family as possible.

“I would rather be here. They’re my family now,” she said. “I feel like our team chemistry isn’t there yet, but it will be in staying over Thanksgiving break and over the holidays — like Christmas — is going to bring us better team chemistry and knowing and understanding each other.”

Sterling said the team plans to spend the holiday together by eating a Thanksgiving feast at one of the coach’s homes.

The break also provides the Hoosiers some rest. Their one game during break is at home, so they don’t have to travel across the country. When they’re not in practice or at the game, they can just relax in a way not possible when they have classes.

“It’s easier because you don’t have the stress of trying to get class work done or trying to study for exams during that time,” Chaplin said. “You have that time to recuperate and relax your mind mentally from school. We’re at each others’ houses watching movies or in the gym getting up some shots.”

Despite the holiday and absence of classes, IU Coach Felisha Legette-Jack said she plans to keep the schedule and atmosphere as close to normal as possible. Keeping her focus on the season, Legette-Jack said she doesn’t want anything to throw the Hoosiers out of their groove.

“It’s going to remain the same schedule,” she said. “You want to keep your routine going because if you get out of your routine, you’re not going to have a consistency going.”

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