May 19, 2007
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam
Aloha from Vietnam!!
Today is May 19, 2007, championship day. I woke up around
my usual time of 8 a.m. and waited for my roommate Alanna [Rutan]
to wake up once the alarm went off at 8:30 a.m. During my wait, I
hopped online and checked my E-mail, MySpace, Facebook and AIM. I
was happy to see people had sent me E-mails and left me comments.
Since my cell phone doesn’t work out here, I have to use these
other means of communication more than usual. It’s been difficult,
but I got used to it after being here for some time. Once
Alanna woke up, we went upstairs for breakfast.
After breakfast, we went back to our rooms. I went back online
and watched as the Phoenix Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio
Spurs (got to love Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker), while Alanna was
being the smart person she is and reading. Some of my teammates
decided to go shopping with Jen [Hamilton] and Sabrina [Polidoro],
but I chose to stay at the hotel because I didn’t want to get
anymore unnecessary tan lines. Plus, I want to save the rest
of my shopping for when we go to Hanoi.
We all met back at the hotel for lunch at 2 p.m. First, we
had lentil soup and then they brought out seafood stuffed spring
rolls. Toya [Blunt] and I didn’t waste any time and went right for
the spring rolls. Little did we know they were still hot and we
ended up burning our tongues. However, it didn’t matter to us
because we were hungry. For dessert we had mango slices. Sabrina,
Jen and I couldn’t stay away from it. We ate what was in our plate
and I managed to get some more mango slices from the other table.
We swallowed that down pretty quick too. It was very delicious.
Then it was time for me to have my last treatment and tape job
from Jen. I documented it on my video camera, while Sabrina and I
watched a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit rerun.
At 4 p.m., we made our way to the gym. Japan and Kazakhstan were
still playing when we arrived at the gym. We ended up starting our
warm-up outside. When we finally made it onto the court, the gym
was packed. We played in the championship game against the national
team of Vietnam. The Vietnamese fans are very loyal to their home
team. They were cheering throughout most of the game. I was trying
to be very focused during the game, but it was very hard to
communicate with my teammates on the court because it was so
We ended up losing, 3-1, but we never gave up during the entire
match. I was proud of the fact that three out of the four games
went past the 25-point mark. That showed great determination and
fire on our part. This game was special to me not only because it
was the championship game, but because it was my last opportunity
to play with my St. John’s team. This was a great way to end my
career. Not too many seniors have the opportunity to play with
their team all the way until May. I’m glad I was able to.
After the game, there was an awards ceremony. We got to stand on
a podium to receive our silver medals. I was especially proud of my
little one (Lena Yee) because she won best digger, best receiver
and best libero of the whole tournament. We stayed for a little bit
to take pictures and sign autographs. Then we headed back to the
There was a big buffet dinner at the hotel made for us,
Kazakhstan and Japan. We sat with the Japanese team. At my table,
Hui Ping [Huang] was our translator; she talked to one of the girls
on the Japan team who is originally from China. I had a blast
spending time with them. It did make me miss my mom a little
After eating, I headed upstairs to shower. I still have to pack
for our flight to Hanoi. We check out of our hotel at 6 a.m. I’m
planning on heading down to Dana [DeMayo] and Val [Kovaleva]’s room
to hang out with them and some of the girls from the Japanese team
before I pack.
But before I say goodbye and since this was my last game, I
would like to take the time to thank everyone. I would like to
thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity to play for such a
great team. I’m glad that I was able to play for you and I will
always remember this year, this coaching staff and everything that
you have done for me. I’ll always be here if you need me to come
help out or scrimmage.
I would next like to thank my teammates for being the best
teammates ever. I really consider all of you my sisters and I
wouldn’t be who I am today without you. I wish you the best of luck
next year, and I’ll be in the stands cheering you on. Sabrina,
thank you for doing the little things to get our team recognized.
Without you, we wouldn’t be as known and as distinguished as we
are. You had so much faith in us even when the nation didn’t. I’ll
miss you greatly.
Next, I’d like to thank my athletic trainer, Jen for keeping me
in one piece this year. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to
step out onto the court. Thank you for all the advice and for being
there to help me through the hard times. Last but not least, I
would like to thank my mom for always believing in me. Thank you
for your constant love and support throughout my life. I know that
I want to grow up and be the loving, hardworking mother that you
are. You give me the strength to get through each day. I’ll always
be grateful for that.
It’s been a great two years at St. John’s. I’ve made a lot
of great friends and I’ll always cherish all the relationships and
memories I have made with everyone. Thank yous for checking
in and sharing our Vietnam trip with us.
Patti Hardimon #22