Candice Dupree’s Team USA Training Camp Blog - Day 2

Whatís going on Sky fans? Today was my second day at USA Basketball training camp. The first day was pretty eventful, thanks for keeping up. Hereís my blog for Day 2.

Last I left you we were on our way to the Washington Nationals game against the New York Mets. The suite they seated us in was nice. They had hotdogs, popcorn and peanuts there for us, all that was pretty cool. The suite was set up so that we could either sit inside or in outdoor seats underneath an overhang. Iím not necessarily a baseball fan, so I just sat and chatted with teammates the whole time. I heard the Nationals won on a homerun, itís too bad the homer didnít happen while we were there.

After the game I went to dinner at a place called Clydeís near Georgetown with a friend. The restaurant had a pretty wide variety of food. I had pasta. When we were done eating, I went back to the hotel and got my beauty rest.

Good Morning!! Woke up and got ready for practice. For the most part it was the same as yesterday. Coach Auriemma put in more offensive stuff. We worked on our half-court set and did some full-court transition drills. We still havenít played any five-on-five. For now Coach is focusing on teaching. We may not scrimmage until Saturday, right now weíre trying to cover the basics.

After practice we all went to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which serves active and retired military personal from all branches of the US military. While there we spoke with soldiers who had been injured in either Iraq or Afghanistan. They gave us t-shirts and shorts to hand out to the soldiers. It was very interesting getting to talk with the soldiers.

During our time at the medical center my teammates and I were split into groups of five. Each group spoke with one soldier. The guy my group spoke with was injured near his calf. Tragically, all his skin was gone because his leg got run over by a truck while he was on patrol duty. It was rough, but this soldier, and the others we met were in good spirits and although they had were in a tragic situation, they were all focused on recovering and moving forward.

After that we went to a place that was kind of like a hotel where the injured soldiersí families stay when theyíre at the medical center. Some injured soldiers stay there as well, so we got to interact with soldiers there too. Some were in wheel chairs, others were missing limbs. Several soldiers there had prosthetics; one guy had one on each leg and walked with canes.

It was a privilege to interact with these wounded soldiers. The fact that interacting with us helps take their minds off of the stuff theyíre going through and have been through for the time we were there, means a lot to me. The event organizers made sure that the people we visited didnít have a problem talking about what happened to them. That was pretty eye opening and staggering to get a better understanding of what the brave soldiers have to face!! A lot of the soldiers wanted autographs, I mean itís the LEAST we could do for their service, so we all signed t-shirts and took pictures. I think we were there for like two hours, but Iím walking away with a whole new found respect for the military. My mother is retired from the US Air Force, but tragedy was never brought home for me like it has been for the men and women I met.

Back in Chicago Iíve had the opportunity to participate in a hospital visit and each time, whether in DC or Chi Iíve walked away thankful and blessed for everything. If I can put a smile on someoneís face, I am honored and pleased to do so. Especially for the military men that I saw today, the courage that they face on duty and throughout their recovery is beyond commendable. After participating in this visit, having the opportunity to represent the United States means so much more.

Well I donít have anything planned for tonight. Iím looking forward to tomorrowís practice. I would have pictures of our trip to the medical center but we werenít allowed to bring our phones off the bus, but make sure to check in tomorrow for the details about Day 3.

Click here to read Dupree's Day 1 blog