Hello Scarlet Nation!
My name is Brittany Lapidus and I have been handed over the reins to the Rutgers women’s basketball blog for the 2012-2013 season. I am very excited to be given this opportunity to give you- our fans, friends, family, random person who came across this page on Google, Oprah (one can dream, right?)- an inside look into the Rutgers women’s basketball team. I am also honored to be following in the footsteps of two Scarlet Knight greats- Brittany Ray and Khadijah Rushdan- in writing this blog. Usually the only other time I’d be following in their footsteps is when they’d be outrunning me during sprints, pickup games, warm-up jogs- pretty much any time running would be involved. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about myself first and then I’ll get into what your beloved Scarlet Knights have been up to.
I grew up in Marlboro, NJ- bleeding scarlet from the beginning (in my opinion, bleeding any other color is unnatural). I grew up going to Rutgers women’s basketball games, even being a ball girl for the team. I idolized Tasha Pointer and Chelsea Newton- now our assistant coaches. Sorry Coach Jackson! I transformed into a huge Rutgers women’s basketball fan- and I still consider myself one of our biggest fans. Sometimes I wish I could hold up the signs that the Cagers Club (our fan booster club) makes while on the bench- especially the “Driving on Mo Mo is a No No (Monique Oliver)” one. That sign is a classic! Anyway, when in high school I got into Rutgers and accepted right away. I knew I needed to be involved with the team while on campus and became a student-manager. That was an exciting year, as I learned how the program runs and got to be around everything I had grown up dreaming about. Now here comes the cool part- the beginning of my sophomore year (2010-2011) I walked onto the team! That’s right- Rutgers was going to give me my own jersey (no more buying them at the bookstore) and locker, but more importantly the privilege to be a Scarlet Knight and represent both my school and Coach Stringer. As I go into my senior season I still cannot believe how fortunate I’ve been and how many amazing experiences I’ve been able to have being a Scarlet Knight. I hope that in this blog I can share some of these experiences with you and give you some insight into being a part of the Scarlet Knight family. Now that you know a little about me- let me tell you about what the team has been up to.
Every year when the fall semester starts, there is a little bit of transition time before we kick it into first gear and really start preparing for the season. We’ve been back on campus for about a week now and we are all trying to get back into the swing of things. We’ve had workouts every morning, lifting and running, to get ourselves ready for the season and the infamous preseason conditioning test. For those of you who do not know, Coach Stringer has devised a torturous, heinous running test that everyone must pass before they are allowed to play. I’m only kidding with those adjectives (sort of) – it’s something that we all know is of great importance for both physical and mental toughness and is a rite of passage for every Coach Stringer player. The test consists of the mile and a combination of different suicide sprints, all timed and measured out precisely. Aside from these workouts, we have been playing a lot of pickup games together in order to get a feel for playing as a team and with different lineups. This is also a chance for the upperclassmen to give the freshmen some guidance without the coaches being there to intervene. I’ve been really impressed with the way in which all our seniors- E (Erica Wheeler), Mo (Monique Oliver), Lee (Chelsey Lee), (and I guess we can throw me in there as well) – have been stepping up and providing our freshmen with leadership and direction.
Off the court, we always seem to be together- whether it is eating together, complaining about how sore we are, or going to class- you’d be hard pressed to find a time that there are not at least a few of us together. We truly have a sisterhood, and would be lost without one another. Literally. Christa Evans ( I like to call her “goat”- greatest of all time) has called me nearly every day to ask me how to get to different buildings for class. As I said, we are always hanging out together and this past Sunday we had the opportunity to go the Prudential Center to see the Liberty play the Sparks. This was something that was so extraordinary to me because of the Scarlet Knight representation on both those WNBA teams. To watch the game with my team and see four incredible players (Cappie Pondexter, Kia Vaughn, Essence Carson, and April Sykes) who were previously in our shoes, having gone through the same things we are going through, is special. All of these players are now excelling at the highest level of their sport, and have gotten to that point thanks in part to the program that I have the amazing opportunity to be a part of. I know in the future I will see some of my current teammates out there. Anyway, I think we all enjoyed the game tremendously- it was a thriller! For me especially, it was great to see April do so well- she’s like a big sister to me. It was a great team bonding excursion and nice to get off campus for the day.
So, I hope this first post gave you some insight into the team and me. I will update this as often as I can and really hope everyone enjoys reading what is going on with your Scarlet Knights. If there are any questions or anything you’d like to know more about, please reach out and let me know! See you all at the RAC!
RU RAH RAH,
Brittany aka B Lap