Brooke Update

Happy New Year, everybody!

I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays and are super pumped about the upcoming year. As always, I have a hard time believing how quickly time passes. Before we know it, the WNBA season will be in full swing for the 12th (wow!) time and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to that.

I returned to Las Palmas, Spain on January 2 after a little more than a week in the States. I spent part of the time at home in Cincinnati with my family and later in Chicago with my boyfriend and friends. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed every minute, despite the cold and sometimes snowy weather. But now I'm back on the island and no longer have to worry about snow. Today was 75 degrees and sunny here and let's be honest, it doesn't get much better than that. I feel blessed by the opportunity to live and work in a place so beautiful.

I played on this team for the second half of last season as well and its been great to come back to a familiar place, great people, pretty consistent warm weather and the beach just minutes away.

Although this is the ultimate vacation spot, I'm here to play basketball and that's what I spend the majority of my time doing. The best part about this season is that I really like my teammates. I play with a great group of girls, almost all of whom I've known previously, which is rare when playing in Europe. We have three girls from Finland on the team, one of whom is my best friend, Taru Tuukkanen. I met her five years ago when we played together on a team on the island next door to this one. It's kind of been like a five-year reunion that lasts all season long. It's funny to see how much we've changed in the last five years -- basically how much we've calmed down in that time. We spend a lot less time focusing on boys and going out on the town -- that's what old age will do to you, I guess!

I also have had the great and unexpected privilege of playing with American Roneeka Hodges who has spent the last three WNBA seasons as a Houston Comet. Roneeka and I already had a connection because we are both Seminoles, although she didn't get to Florida State until a few years after I had graduated. We both played for the same coach there, but we really didn't know each other that well. I have found that Roneeka is a truly gifted basketball player and an even more amazing person; I'm so happy we've had the chance to be teammates.

Our team is doing pretty well so far. We went 6-0 in EuroCup, which qualified us for the next round, and we are 5-5 in the Spanish league, but working hard to qualify for the Queen's Cup in February and, of course, the playoffs at the end of the regular season. The top eight teams make it to both of these events so as of this week we're right there, but it's going to take a lot of hard work. The Spanish league is very competitive and has some very talented WNBA and European players. Speaking of talented WNBA players, in our last game before Christmas break, our team played against Cathy Joens' team. It was great to see her and to be able to congratulate her on getting hitched back in September. My team ended up winning but CJ played very well and I remembered why I prefer playing WITH her as she was draining basket after basket against us.

So that about wraps it up! I've still got a lot more basketball to play here and I'm looking forward to more fun on and off the court. I know time will fly by and May will be here in a flash, and I can't wait to be back in Chicago to see the great city, all my teammates, coaches, everyone at the Sky offices and of course, YOU, Sky fans! Until then, good luck with those New Year's resolutions and take care!

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