Skip to simplified nav
Women's Basketball: Thanksgiving in San Juan

Dec. 5, 2012

Photo Gallery I | Photo Gallery II

"Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico."

There were signs throughout the airport welcoming the team to the Caribbean island. For the most part, however, the trip was like any other.

"We get up, eat breakfast, have study hall for an hour and a half," Kelsey Wolfe said, describing a standard day on the trip. "Then we head over to the arena to practice for a couple of hours. Just like a normal trip."

Several of the players, including Ataira Franklin, even had to take a quiz at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

There were some decided advantages to playing in Puerto Rico. The team hotel was adjacent to Carolina Beach, a long stretch of warm, white sand and calm, blue ocean that flanks the Isla Verde resort area.

"Walking outside of the hotel and being able to go to the beach is pretty awesome," said Jaryn Garner.

The trips to the beach were scheduled into the players' packed schedules.

"Everything is pretty much on a time schedule except for a few free hours in the afternoon," said Sarah Beth Barnette. "I have been going to the beach every chance I get. The ocean is my favorite place in the world."

Another favorite activity of the team was stopping off at the cafe right on the edge of the beach to get a special tropical treat.

"My favorite part has been getting smoothies," Wolfe said. "They are really good, especially the piña colada."

In addition to the easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, the team also had sprawling pools to splash around in. Several members of the team took advantage of the shallow waters to try to teach Sarah Imovbioh how to swim.



"At first we started teaching her freestyle," Barnette said. "She wasn't really getting the breathing pattern with it, so we mixed it up with a little breast stroke. At first, she was holding her breath under water. Now she knows to breathe out and she has been doing pretty well."

The team, along with the friends and family who had traveled down to Puerto Rico for the tournament, got together on Thanksgiving to celebrate with a turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings, including pumpkin pie.

After finishing the tournament, the players had a free morning on Sunday to take in the fun of the beach and the ocean, with everyone on the team jumping into the surf to have some fun.

The trip was filled with memories of a lifetime: swim lessons, failed attempts at chop-sticking at a Japanese restaurant, late-night Catch Phrase tournaments, giant lizards at shoot around, frozen drinks, sunny days, white sand, warm blue waters. And basketball.


Top Videos
Jeff White
Debbie Ryan
1992-93 Cavaliers Step Back Into Spotlight
Women's Basketball
The 1992-93 Virginia women's basketball team will be honored Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
De'Andre Hunter (12) and Jack Salt (33)
'Hoos Make Themselves at Home in Atlanta
Men's Basketball
No. 2 Virginia, which plays Sunday at Wake Forest, stretched its winning streak to nine games with a victory over Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday night.
Annie Tyson
Tyson Finds Perfect Fit at UVA
Women's Squash
Annie Tyson, who also starred in lacrosse in high school, is one of the leaders of the UVA women's squash team.

Jeff White

Director of News Content

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

More Headlines
Online Stores
Cavalier Auctions
Cavalier Team Shop