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When Flagstaff enjoyed its first snow of the season last Thursday, our team was reminded of the origin of our great game. Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts. A physical education instructor, Naismith was tasked by the head of the International YMCA Training School (now Springfield College) to come up with an indoor sport that could be played during the winter months between football and baseball seasons.

The first game of basketball was played 9 versus 9 with a soccer ball. Two peach baskets were nailed to a railing 10 feet high at each end of the gymnasium. Players could use only a pass to advance the ball since dribbling wasn't allowed. While the rules have evolved, the object of the game remains the same - put the ball in the basket. A humble beginning . . . but it all started with winter weather and that's why basketball players love snow.


Taylor Leyva is a 5'11 freshman guard from Pueblo, Colorado. Taylor was a four-year letterwinner and starter and two-year captain in basketball at Pueblo West High School. Taylor averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior while leading Pueblo West to the Colorado 4A Final Four. She is the Pueblo West High School record holder for most free-throws made and attempted in a game, most offensive rebounds in a game and most rebounds in career, season and game. Taylor's versatility is not limited to the court.

Taylor played volleyball and ran track in high school. She had a 3.98 GPA, and ranked seventh in her high school class. She was a member of the Principal's Honor Roll, National Honor Society and MECHA. And . . .Taylor was Homecoming Queen her senior year.

Taylor is the oldest daughter of Lynn and Jeff Leyva, and the big sister to Olivia, Marissa, and Maliyah. The Leyva family is a tight-knit group. The whole family (including grandparents) made the drive from Pueblo to Flagstaff this summer to drop Taylor off at school. UPDATE: Good news from Pueblo . . . littlest sister Maliyah is once again talking to Taylor. As the family was heading back to Pueblo this summer, Maliyah was informed she could not stay at NAU with Taylor which led to icy stares and the silent treatment for big sis.

After the first snow, big sister and Coloradan Taylor had some snow day survival advice for a couple of our warm weather freshmen.


Flannel and Flapjack Breakfast . . . Bonfire . . . Chili Cook-Off . . . Best Beard on Campus Contest . . . Homecoming Parade . . . NAU Soccer, Volleyball, and Football . . . The biggest event of the year comes to Flagstaff this weekend as NAU welcomes it's alumni back to campus for Homecoming. We look forward to meeting and greeting lots of former NAU women's basketball players.

The NAU women's basketball program has an all-points bulletin out on all women's basketball alumni. If you know the whereabouts of a former NAU women's basketball player, please forward me their contact information. Thank you in advance for your help.


Our lone senior, Amanda Frost (Riverside, CA) shares her thoughts on this week in practice: "We have our first intersquad scrimmage on Thursday. It will be the first time we play with certified officials. It will be a benchmark. It will show us where we have improved and what we still need to work on. It will give us a chance to put everything together in 40 minutes."


Our goals for the 2013-2014 season:

Win the Big Sky Championship,

Maintain a team GPA of 3.0 or higher,

Perform 150 hours of community service.

Freshman Catelyn Preston (Oregon City, OR) keeps tabs on important dates and numbers for our program. Drumroll please . . .

Days until our home opener (Hawaii, November 10th) = 26

Days until semester grades are posted = 80

Days until the Big Sky Championship = 151

Hours of community service performed to date = 52


Thanks for your interest in, and support of, NAU Women's Basketball. Until next week please:

1. Follow us on Facebook (, Twitter (@NAU_WBB), and at

2. Wear the Blue and Gold with pride (Especially on Friday)

3. If you know of someone not receiving this newsletter who you think might enjoy receiving it, please send me their email address and I will add them to the email list.

4. Make it a great week to be a Lumberjack!

Go Jacks!

Sue Darling

Head Women's Basketball Coach

Northern Arizona University