Loree Payne Diary
May 27, 2000
After I found out I was invited to the tryouts I was filled with tons of mixed emotions. I was so excited and honored to be selected as one of the fifty girls, but on the other hand I was extremely nervous. I saw the list of people invited, including Sue Bird and Shae Ralph (National Champion UConn Huskies) and it was an unexplainable feeling. I was actually going to get a chance to complete against the BEST in the nation. I took it as an awesone opportunity, one that every college basketball player dreams of, to compete at the top level playing the game you love to play. June helped me out a lot calming my nervous before I left. She reminded me that no matter what happens, when I stepped on the floor in Colorado all I should focus on is playing hoops, what I have grown up on.
Once I arrived in Colorado, after about 6 hours of delays and a cancelled flight, we started to play. June was right, once I got a ball in my hands my nervousness turned to excitment and I just played like I knew how. We had five days of tryouts, which included games as well as individual position work. After the five days the committee met and announced the team on Monday morning. The tension in the gym was so thick as they began to announce the names. All I could think about was how much fun it would be to make the team and get to travel all around. Then my name came was called and I had an overwhelming sense of emotion. We then met as a team and found out all the details of our travels. We will be in Taiwan in July and then we meet up with the Women's and Men's Olympic teams and travel to Hawaii at the end of August. I am so excited to return to Hawaii and well as meet some awesome NBA and WNBA players.
I want to thank my team and my coaches for all their help this spring pushing each other hard in the weight room as well as in open gym to make us better. They definitely helped me become a better player and now I have the opportunity to represent them, the University of Washington, the Pac-10 and finally the United States this summer! Thanks to all the fans and supporters, without you guys none of this would be possible!