It seems like just yesterday, NAU Women's Basketball completed the final project of our 2012-2013 season. While Flagstaff is considered the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon," very few of our players had seen it. On April 28th we caravanned 75 miles north to the south rim, and not only saw the Grand Canyon, but conquered the Grand Canyon. We hiked down the South Kaibab trail in the morning, ate lunch at Phantom Ranch, and made our way out on the Bright Angel Trail that afternoon. Quite an accomplishment, and a great way to end an exciting year.

Since then, NAU Women's Basketball has been non-stop with achievement. In May, three (Amy Patton, Patricia Gortarez, and Paige Haynes) of last season's five seniors donned their cap and gowns, and are now proud NAU graduates. Aubrey Davis and Tyler Stephens-Jenkins will graduate this December after completing student teaching and coursework.

This summer, for the first time, NCAA rules permitted us to work with our players on the court. Our four returning players were on campus for summer school and workouts the first summer session. They also had the opportunity to assist with NAU Team Camp. Our eight new freshmen arrived on campus in early July for the second summer session. It was a very productive summer as we were able to work extensively on the court, and in the weight room. And the best news of all . . . We completed 23 classes (66 credits) as a team and earned a team summer GPA of 3.57. I'm very proud of our group!


After a two week August break, it was with great anticipation and excitement that we welcomed our 2013-2014 squad to campus this past weekend. Fall semester classes and fall workouts started today. With four returners, eight incoming freshman, and one transfer, the next four weeks will be the "melding" phase of our season. On the court, our focus will be conditioning, strength training, and skill development. Off the court, we will focus on bonding and building rock-solid relationships. We not only want to be the best conditioned team in the Big Sky, but also the most cohesive team in the Big Sky. It's an exciting time, and we are all ready to get to work!


Our team recently participated in NAU's annual Welcome Back Jacks. We spent a rain-drenched but fun-filled Saturday morning welcoming and helping 4,100 incoming NAU freshmen move into their new dorm rooms. It was much appreciated by the new Jacks and their parents, and it was a great workout and bonding experience for the team.


Congratulations to former NAU head women's basketball coach Dave Brown, who recently had this retirement dinner last Thursday. He coached the Lumberjacks for seven years from 1983-90 and is third all-time in program history with 85 victories. All together, Dave spent 29 years at NAU, 21 of them as the director of the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.

NAU assistant coach, Jamie Shadian, travelled to Israel in July as Head Coach of the USA Open Women's Basketball team. Congratulations to Jamie and Team USA for bringing home the Gold Medal!

Former NAU player, Patricia Gortarez, recently announced her engagement to Cameron Hollerbach.


Our lone senior, Amanda Frost (Riverside, CA) shares her thoughts on her last first-day-of-school: "It's bittersweet. I can't wait for the year to start, but I don't want it to end."


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 first day of practice = 35

Days until our home opener (Hawaii, November 10th) = 74

Days until semester grades are posted = 112

Days until the Big Sky Championship = 162

Hours of community service performed to date = 52


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