So the cap finally has been put on the 2009-2010 UC women's basketball season, with last Sunday's team dinner and awards ceremony on March 28. Those of you who have followed UC's women's basketball team know that it's been a while since there's been a post-season ceremony honoring the team, so it was good to have that tradition return.
For the record, honors went to Kahla Roudebush, most valuable player; Michelle Jones, most improved player; Shareese Ulis, unsung hero award; and Carla Jacobs, defensive player of the year. All very well deserved, and the Bearcat program will miss Kahla, Michelle and Carla, along with the rest of the seniors, who are moving on 'to find their life's work,' as Paul Brown would say.
But you know who deserves their own award? Their own standing ovation? The parents, the friends, the family members who were at that dinner, were at countless games, cheering these young women on. I've talked before about the support these families give the student-athlete, but sometimes we forget that it means driving long hours in bad weather to watch a basketball game; it means lost sleep getting back home late; it means short weekends after a game.
At Sunday's dinner I saw parents, grandparents, friends, family. All there to honor these women who are the first, the foundation, of the Jamelle Elliott era. And let's face it, the student-athlete gets all the awards, the applause, the accolades, but let's save some of that applause for the families who give up a lot so that their daughters can enjoy the opportunities to play a game they love.
It means a lot for these young women to be able to look up in the stands and see their families cheering them on--not just in basketball, but in life. We say goodbye to these players, but we know that, with the support of their friends and families, they'll be just as successful off the court as on. Best of luck.