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April 12, 2006

Hey Buckeyes,
It’s me Jessica and I’m in Austrailia right now for the 2006 Opals World Challenge. I’m having a great time. This is my second time in Australia, so maybe I can call this my second home. Although the trip here is very long, I really love it out here. The players and coaches are really great and I’m learning a lot from these experienced players.

We played our first two games in Cairns and then we took a trip down to Canberra to play our last three. The games have been very challenging and our team has really stepped up to accept the challenge. Although we did not go undefeated, I thought we played with great effort. Losing to Australia was my first loss with USA basketball and it does not make me feel very good. It kinda leaves a sick feeling in my stomach, but to get to other things; we beat China twice, Chinese Taipei once and we split with Australia.

Back to what we have done off the court. In Cairns, it was very hot like July, so it was nice to get away from the Ohio weather. Every night, me, Candace Parker, Kristin Haynie and Shameka Christon would take a trip down the street and go to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). That was like our nightly get away to just joke around and have fun. When we got to Canberra, it was more of a city so there were many shops and malls for us to visit. Once again, I found myself taking walks at night to find food or just get out because the weather is so nice. Katie Smith likes to take a walk after she eats, so it was nice to walk and chat with her about whatever was on my mind.

While down here, I really was looking for a new pair of “exclusive” shoes to bring back to the states, but I could not find a pair that I really liked. Maybe next time.

Overall, I really have enjoyed my time here learning from these great players and hopefully will have another chance to represent the USA in basketball in the near future.

Go Bucks!
Jessica