The Sacramento State women's basketball team arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico this afternoon after a long night of travel. Less than 24 hours ago, the team was warming up on the court in San Francisco, preparing to take on the USF Dons.
Today was all about settling in for the team, as they unpacked, relaxed, and began to take in their new home for the next week. San Juan is capitol and most populated city in Puerto Rico, home to roughly 400,000 people. While here, the team is participating in the 2017 Puerto Rico Classic, a tournament featuring seven Div. I teams from across the nation. The Hornets play their first game Monday against Miami and their second on Wendesday against Northern Illinois.
This trip is also an opportunity for Sacramento State and the women's basketball team to participate in relief efforts here in Puerto Rico. With the help of Sacramento State professor, Dr. Quinones, the team will meet with students at the University of Puerto Rico and help prepare donation items to be delievered throughout the community.
Below is a player blog from senior Kyhonta Doughty, reflecting on her first day here on the island. Expect to see more posts as each member of the team will have a chance to share their reactions, thoughts, and observations while here in PUerto Rico.
Day 1 Player Blog - Dec. 16
Today was our first day in Puerto Rico. We had a tough loss last night at San Francisco (feels like longer than just "last night"), but there wasn't much time to think too much about it because we immediately got on the bus and headed to the airport for the start of a very full night of traveling.
Our first flight left San Francisco heading to Chicago at 11:30 pm and was pretty quiet, but once we got to Chicago, we had a two hour wait and were able to hang out and bond in the airport. It was just good hang out time with the team as we waited for our flight to San Juan.
We left Chicago about 8 am and landed in San Juan around 2. Upon arriving here my first thought was about the weather. It was a complete turnaround from the cold weather we left in Sacramento and Chicago. The weather here is very tropical – hot and humid and muggy – but it's a nice break from the cold winter weather back home.
So far all the people we've encountered have been really friendly. A group of us went to the Isla Verde beach near our hotel to explore and enjoy the view and the water. It was funny because while we were down there we were actually recognized by a former Hornet! We talked about our team and why are here and he spoke with us about his family's tradition of Sac State graduates.
Tomorrow we have our first practice here and on Monday we have our first game. I project that these upcoming games will be like the others; a true test of how well we apply all the things we've learned and the tone we wish to set going into conference. Our goal every game is to compete, get better, and to create as much chaos for the other team as possible. No matter the outcome we want to be the team that plays the hardest and has the most control. If we focus on those things we can come out with a win.
Later in the week is when we'll travel to Humacao with Sac State professor, Dr. Quinones, to spend time at the University of Puerto Rico and help put together and deliver care packages. The whole team is really looking forward to that.
We've only been here less than a day but so far this has been an unbelievable experience. I never imagined being in Puerto Rico with people I consider family and I can't wait for the rest of the trip.