looks like I have to root for the Sun
That would be the Connecticut Sun
. I've been anxiously checking the transactions this week, hoping that one Jamie Carey
would stick on the roster.
I had the absolute pleasure of knowing Jamie briefly, via a mutual friend, when she was still at Stanford but not playing basketball. It was a shitty time for her. Beyond shitty. Hard to get shittier, even. That was several years ago, and things have gotten considerably better for her since then.
If you've followed women's college basketball in the last four or five years, you may know her story. If not, here are the bullet points:
- highly recruited girl from Colorado gets scholarship to Stanford
- girl breaks numerous school and league records for a freshman, wins Pac-10 freshman of the year for '99-00
- girl cracks her head one too many times, has to retire from playing ball during her sophomore year but gets to stay at Stanford as a student
- brother kills self at christmas
- unimaginable family strife back home in Colorado, all the while Jamie is trying to remember little things like where she parked her car
- Stanford says they won't clear her to play basketball, ever, but she can play any sport that requires a helmet. Yeah, because if you get hit in the head with a softball, that's not going to hurt just as much.
- tries a treatment regimen at U of Texas, it works like a charm. Stanford still won't let her play, but in a seriously cool move (and I'm not Tara V. fan), Stanford coach calls Texas coach and says, basically, "here's a star point guard for you, merry christmas"
- Jamie becomes a Texas Longhorn, and for three years I have to root for them and wear that horrible color, instead of rooting for my beloved Duke Blue Devils and their normal color
- The NCAA grants her a 6th year of eligibility, but Texas never manages to win a championship.
- Jamie does well in school; she either has already finished a Master's degree or is well on her way to one.
- Gets snubbed by a bunch of stupid GMs in the draft and is picked by Phoenix, who waived her...and I'm glad because even if Jamie made the team I'd have a hard time rooting for Phoenix.
- Connecticut picks her up, and she made it through final cuts. See story
When I say I had the pleasure of knowing her, it's not just talk. It really was a pleasure. I've never met anyone who, more than Jamie, deserved to have good things happen to her. Not just because she got hit in the head a lot or because she endured personal tragedy—that happens to a lot of people—but because in addition to that she's one of the most humble, unassuming, driven, smart and respectable people out there. She's one of those people—well, she was when I knew her and I have no reason to think she's regressed—who understands things like respect and sportsmanship and what it means to be a well-rounded person.
In short (well, sort of...) she's one of those people you want
to root for, who you want
your kids to emulate. A good egg, basically.