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Time Out With Tori

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Happy Thanksgiving! This holiday season has really made me think about all that I am thankful for.  One main thing that comes to mind is how thankful I am for having such a large, supporting family.  I truly have one of the best.  I also consider my team part of that family.  I am surrounded by some of the best people every day and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be apart of this program.  I know I have been greatly blessed.

This past week, I asked all of my teammates what they were thankful for.  The majority of answers were that they were thankful for the team.  I think that's a pretty special thing, knowing that a group of girls is thankful to be in each other's lives.  But here are all of their responses when asked what they were thankful for:

Bre Brock:  I'm thankful for the constant support of family and friends and for being able to say I'm apart of the MU women's basketball team.

Liz Smith: I'm thankful for having such wonderful teammates.

Paige Spietz: All of the wonderful people that I'm surrounded by everyday and the opportunity to be a Tiger!

Sydney Crafton: I'm thankful for my family, the opportunity to play at Mizzou and the coaching staff.

Kyley Simmons:  I'm thankful for my family and team and coaches.

Bre Fowler:  I'm thankful for life, family and having a sense of humor.

Liene Priede: I'm thankful for my health, my friends and family, and everything else.

Maggie Flynn:  I'm thankful for the gift to play basketball and the family God gave me.

Kendra Frazier:  I'm thankful for my teammates.

Christine Flores:Basketball and with a wonderful group of girls at that. 

Morgan Eye: I'm thankful for my family, friends and teammates and my home town.  They send me a lot of love.

Bailey Gee: I'm thankful for my teammates and this second opportunity I was given after recovering from my knee injury.

 

Peace, Love and Basketball.

 

Tori Niemann 

Time Out with Tori

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2-0!! Our first road trip was a success in many ways.  We had a great flight to San Antonio and Thursday night our team went to Christine's house and had a great meal.  Her parents made brisket, chicken, beans, pasta salad and some other great tasting dishes.  After dinner, we all roasted marshmallows in the fire pit in the Flores's backyard.  Then on Friday we beat UTSA! After the game, we drove to Corpus Christi.  It was kind of a late night getting to the hotel, but when we woke up on the bus, we awoke to a view of the Gulf of Mexico.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Our hotel was right on the water and we had an awesome view from our rooms.  On Saturday, we beat Corpus Christi! After beating Corpus Christi, we ate dinner as a team at a restaurant called Tavern on the Bay.  It was an awesome little place and we actually ate our meal on a floating dock right on the water.  The weather could not have been more perfect the whole trip.  We were in t-shirts and shorts the entire time.

As a team, I think we became even closer.  We already have a close-knit team, but this trip was a lot of fun and allowed for a lot of bonding.  There were multiple times where all you could hear was laughter.  A lot of great memories were made in Texas!   

This week we play St. Louis University Wednesday night in St. Louis and North Florida Sunday at home!

Peace, Love and Basketball.

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Game day! One more exhibition and then it really starts! Having our first game last week was such a good feeling for all of us.  Game day is always a good time for all of us.  It's always fun to put all of the time that we've put into practice, to work.   

We're all excited for our first road trip of the year!  We fly out of St. Louis Thursday to go to San Antonio.  I think the plan is to go to Christine's house in San Antonio Thursday night, and her parents are going to cook us a meal.  I know her mom is excited and I know I'm looking forward to it too!

Sunday night, most of our team attended the MU press conference about moving to the SEC.  It was great to hear from a few of our leaders and to be apart of something that was so full of Mizzou spirit!  All of us support MU's decision and look forward to the opportunity ahead!

Peace, Love and Basketball.

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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This past Friday, our team got the chance to work a basketball clinic for the Special Olympics.  It was an awesome night!  We met some pretty amazing people and the night was full of laughter and high fives.  There were about 120 participants and we went through a couple of stations and there was scrimmaging at the end of the night.  It was a ton of fun for everyone.  At the end of the night, all of us felt blessed to have had the opportunity to be apart of such a special night.

 

This past weekend, Paige went back home with me to Canton.  We had a great day outdoors.  We rode horses and the four wheeler after watching the football game! By the way, what an awesome game!!  I even helped one of our Amish neighbor's goats get it's head out of the fence.  It was a great day out in the country!

 

Peace, Love and Basketball.

 

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Saturday at the football game, our team got to do something pretty neat.  We were recognized on the football field at the beginning of the second quarter.  It was so cool to be down on the field and so close to the action.  We could really see how hard those guys hit!  After we were announced, we went up to the concourse level and signed our new posters for anyone that wanted to come by.  We had a great turnout!  It was great to see so many fans excited for the season.  If you haven't seen our poster for this year, you need to check it out!  I think you're going to like it.
 
Sunday night, some of us were able to catch Christine's game on ESPN 2.  She did awesome!  It was so cool to see our teammate wearing the USA uniform playing on an ESPN channel.  We're so proud of her, but we're ready for her to come home!
 
One more week until our first exhibition game!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Tori

We've started the second week of practice.  We now only have 11 more practices until our first exhibition game! I can't believe how fast the season has came.  Practices are going good and everyone is working hard.

Homecoming was great this past weekend! On Friday, Maggie's parents came into town and grilled out for all of us.  It was a great meal and a lot of fun to sit around and just hang out as a team.  On Saturday, most of us met up and were able to sit together at the game.  The stadium was packed and it was a lot of fun to be apart of it all!  

For the next two weeks, we will be missing Christine.  She will be in Mexico representing the US at the Pan-America Games.  Our team is so proud of her!  It already sounds like she is having a great time and really enjoying her experience. 

On Monday evening, the MU Athletic Department held a Women for Women event.  We met at the Sells Dining Hall in the MATC and listened for about an hour about how we can empower ourselves.  It was a great event! It was very informative and I feel like it really brought all of the MU female athletes together.  One of the speakers said that as a female athlete here, we have not only the sisters on our team, but 200 sisters that make up all of the female athletes.  That's a pretty cool feeling; knowing that there's 200 girls that care and will have one another's backs. We're truly lucky to have such a huge and loving family.

Peace, Love and Basketball.

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Monday was the first official practice! It was so good to have Coach P out on the court with us.  It was the first time our entire team and staff had been on the floor together.  Before practice started, we all met in the film room and watched a little inspirational video.  It was awesome!  It talked about wanting success just as you want air to breathe and all of the hard work you have to put in to achieve success.  Everyone went out to practice with a great level of intensity after seeing that video! I know it's only day one, but the season is off to a good start!  I think someone said there's around 22 days until our first game!

This past weekend a lot of us went back home.  It was one of the last free weekends we will have so most of us took advantage of it.  I got to attend the wedding of two of my friends.  I actually played the harp as the bride and her bridal party walked down the isle.  It was a neat experience!  It's always good to be back home around family and friends.

Homecoming is this weekend! I know I'm excited to go to the game and be apart of such a great Mizzou tradition!

Peace, Love and Basketball.

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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One more week until official practice starts!  Monday we had the whole team workout together with the assistant coaches.  It was like a real practice, but not quite.  Coach P wasn't running the practice but we still did similar drills.  It was great to have everyone on the court together in a practice-like atmosphere! 
 
This past Friday, we had our video shoot.  By video shoot, I mean the five second clip that plays on the score board when you're announced or the images of the eyes that go around the arena during free throws.  It was so fun to shoot these!  It's always awkward, but us girls really enjoy it.  Also, some of us had to say a few lines.  These were hilarious to watch!  I'm sure there is a great blooper roll out there somewhere.  It took most people a couple of takes to get their lines down perfectly.  With saying the lines, we were supposed to say them as if we were speaking to the crowd.  Well, there obviously wasn't a crowd at the video shoot, it was just us speaking into the camera.  So we all had to get out of our comfort zones and act a little!  I think most of us make better basketball players than actresses!
 
This upcoming season is going to be a special one, I can feel it.  This group of girls gets along great and we all want success for each other. 
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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What a weekend! On Saturday, Christine and I left our house in Columbia at 8 a.m. and started the drive to Norman, Oklahoma.  We made the trip in eight hours and had a few good laughs along the way.  We definitely struggled with the tolls! We couldn't ever figure out how much the toll was and then when we would throw the change in, it wouldn't give us the green light.  I'm sure it was quite a sight to see me and Christine yelling at the toll light to just turn green! The game was a lot of fun. It's always fun to be in a different atmosphere. Nothing beats Mizzou though!
 
Throughout the game, I realized how great MU fans are.  Christine and I were sitting in a small MU section and I realized how all MU fans come together.  It doesn't matter if they don't know you, if you're in your black and gold, then you have automatic friends.  MU fans are always so friendly and supportive!
 
The drive back home was a little more difficult.  We left after the game, around midnight, and got home at 8 a.m.  It was so weird to start driving when it was dark and then see the sun rise.  We went 24 hours without sleep!  Luckily, we got to sleep and take it easy on Sunday. 
 
On Friday, we had the team golf outing.  It was a lot of fun! It was great seeing and talking to so many of our supporters. We have the greatest fans!  It was really neat to hear some of Coach Rutherford's stories, too!
 
The season is almost here!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Last Monday was our team picture day, but this past Friday was our team photo shoot for our poster and our individual posters.  It was so much fun! The pictures were supposed to be game like and we all had to keep straight faces.  Do you know how hard it is to keep a straight face around our team? We were all busting out with laughter after trying to hold serious faces in front of each other.  We were all practicing our "tough" faces before we took our individual pictures.  I'm sure it was quite a sight for anyone watching us!
 
If there was an outsider watching our team, off the court, they would see our team in constant laughter.  I think that's what's special about our team.  Every single one of us gets along great with each other and we are always having fun.  It doesn't matter if it's after scrimmaging, at a photo shoot or at dinner, we are always cracking jokes and just having a blast.  I love that I know I can walk into our locker room and instantly have my day get better from just by being around my teammates.
 
This Saturday Christine and I are making the trip to Oklahoma to cheer on the boys at the football game.  It's going to be a long trip and there's a good possibility we'll come back with some stories of getting lost or who knows what! Wish us luck!
 
And just an update, we haven't had any kitchen fires at our new apartment.  But that also may be because I haven't cooked anything yet and I don't think Paige has used the oven either!

 

Peace, Love and Basketball

 

Tori Niemann