Basketball road trips: Keep an eye on the fruit snacks

The women's basketball team on their way to Chadron, Nebraska. Taylor Garcia | The Scribe
The women’s basketball team on their way to Chadron, Nebraska.
Taylor Garcia | The Scribe
Feb. 15, 2016

Taylor Garcia
tgarcia@uccs.edu

Anyone down for a road trip?

Depending on the time, it’s either dead silent or so loud you can’t think.

The temperature is never at a reasonable level, either you’re in a t-shirt and shorts or you’re so cold you have your knees tucked into your hoodie.

Don’t ever get up to get snacks if you aren’t willing to become the snack distributor. And if you can’t find the good fruit snacks, the upperclassmen are hiding them.

Be careful where you step, because there is probably a person laying there. This makes getting to the bathroom like an extreme ropes course, where the floor is lava and feet are crisscrossed over the aisle.

When we want to watch a movie, a lone volunteer is sent to the front of the bus. The choice is often difficult because the men’s and women’s teams share a bus, so while the girls may want to watch “Frozen,” I can guarantee none of the guys are going to support that choice, even if they secretly want to.

Each bus ride is its own event. The four feet of space I get suddenly becomes my world, and whatever position I fell asleep in last time for some reason doesn’t work this time.

The worst trips that we take are the eight-plus hours to Rapid City and Spearfish, South Dakota, the nine hours to Salt Lake City, the winding five-ish hours to Grand Junction, and the eight hours to Chadron in Nebraska. But the worst of all is the 13 hours to Silver City in the south of New Mexico.

Those weekends are particularly hard, because we spend more time on the bus than on the court playing.

Those long weekends especially suck when either team loses.

Losses are heavy on the bus. We get on and lights are out immediately, no movies and usually no talking. Those rides are the worst. Bus rides already suck without having hours to think about everything we did wrong in the game.

With travel partner changes in the RMAC, Chadron is now partnered with Regis University in Denver.

So on Friday, we traveled the eight or so hours to Nebraska, played, and then turned around to make the trek back to Denver to play. It was awful. I’m thankful we were closer to home on Saturday night, but that was not a fun trip.

But the best times on the bus are when we aren’t on the bus at all.

It’s when we are waiting in a restaurant like a mob of kids. And no matter how much heads-up we give a restaurant, they always seemed surprised that we followed through on our reservations. Then, as we are led to our tables, we are stared at. It’s quite obvious, too.

Maybe it’s the matching gear.

Maybe it’s the fact that about six of the girls are over 5’10.”

From October to March, our lives are spent with the same 19 people. We see each other every day and spend more time in the gym than anywhere else. And while we lose all of our weekends during those months, coaching and playing the game we love makes up for those long bus rides.

*Editor’s Note: Taylor Garcia is an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team