Silver Stars center Chantelle Anderson is part of the youth movement in San Antonio. No longer the aging roster full of Utah Starzz, San Antonio has a young nucleus ready to restore the team's prominence. Anderson was the second overall pick in the 2003 Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs, but joined the Silver Stars in 2005. Now in her fourth season, Anderson is coming into her own. As a blogger, she got started while playing overseas in the 2005-06 offseason in Siberia with her "Tales from the Tundra." Back from the tundra, she now shares her "Tales from Texas."
Stories From the Road
Posted: July 8, 2005 5:17 p.m. ET
Hey everyone! I hope y’all had a great 4th of July! Mine was fun even though we were 0 for 2 as far as our planned events goes. We had the day off, so Kendra, Sophia, Leigh Ann, her friend B and I all decided to go floating on a nearby river. We got all ready and drove 40 minutes out there, but by the time we finally got there, they had stopped renting tubes! Since it was only 5:30 and we were already in our bathing suits and set on getting in the water, we decided to go to Schlitterbahn, a huge water park right down the street.
But by the time we got there, it had spontaneously started pouring down rain (in Texas!). We were gonna go anyway (because we were just that determined to do something!) but they wouldn't sell tickets as long as there was lightning...so the water park didn't work out either, thanks to the mini monsoon. So we all ended up going back to So's house, ordering pizza, and watching Madea's Family Reunion (great movie by the way). But even though our plans fell thru, we all had a great time hanging out and being silly together... gotta love teammates!
Ok, so the grossest thing happened to me on the plane the other day! Me and Katie were sitting there waiting for take off when I asked the flight attendant for a blanket. She didn't have anymore so the woman behind me courteously offered to give me hers. So I took it and as I was unfolding it, I noticed it was a little wet...so of course the first thing I did was smell it...then I was like “oh my gosh Katie, smell this.” So she smelled it and quickly confirmed my worst suspicions when she said, “it smells like pee!” We were SO GROSSED OUT!!! Needless to say I threw the “pee blanket” on the floor and we went straight to wash our hands as soon as we could get up! Ew!!! So disgusting.
Today I had the most fun at an appearance that we did for HEB (a local grocery store chain). Shanna, Katie, Biba, and I got to do a shopping cart relay in the supermarket! We each had a minute to grab as much stuff as we could from the route that they had marked for us and get to the check point to tag the next person with their cart. At the end, the total dollar amount of everything we grabbed would be donated to the San Antonio Food Bank. It was SO FUN!!!
I started the relay and went straight for the frozen hot wings (because they were the most expensive thing in my section). But there was a worker mopping the floor right in front of the chicken! (I guess someone had forgotten to tell him about the relay). Since I was on the clock, I didn’t have time to politely ask him to move, so as I tried to slow down the cart on the wet floor AND avoid falling, I shouted out “MOVE!” I almost hit him with the cart on accident! He was really like “what is going on here?” haha But don’t worry, I still grabbed plenty of chicken! It was a totally eventful race…Biba spilled Punch all over the floor, Katie made a spectacular catch to avoid some spilt milk, and Shanna froze her hands off getting the ice cream and sausages. At the end we totaled almost $700... not bad for four minutes of work!
Ok so this is totally random…but I guess
I’ll tell y’all anyway. When we stayed in Seattle the last time, we
stayed at this hotel called the Hotel Monaco. Its kinda weird because with your
stay, they offer you a pet gold fish that stays in your room with you until you
leave. Now, the first time we were there, we were all wondering why you would
want a gold fish pet in a hotel...but the second time we went, we decided 2 get
them. Me and Sophia's fish was named Dolly. We didn't name her... that was the
name she came with... but Vickie did re-name hers Nicky because she got one named
Vickie...Haha... I thought that was so funny when she
told me that!)
So anyway, the funniest fish thing happened the first night when two of my teammates (who will remain nameless...luv u guys!) came back from dinner and their fish (named Stud...yes, that was the name the hotel gave him) was missing! They were confused for a second but then they figured that the fish weren't allowed to spend the night and housekeeping had taken him, so it was cool. Well, a little later, one of them dropped something and got on the floor to look for it, and almost under the bed, she found Stud! Lol We all guessed that housekeeping had filled the water to high and he, for some reason, had jumped out...but they were so traumatized that they couldn’t even bond with their new fish and called to have it taken back! So the semi-morbid joke for the rest of the trip was that Stud committed suicide because they didn't talk 2 him enough and he felt neglected!
Ok, that's it for now. I really hope y’all are enjoying this season as much as I am…until next time enjoy your self, pay attention to your pets, and smell your airplane blankets! :)
Margo, my new hair lady, for the best method I've ever seen! I truly love u!
Kristin, my sister, for going earring shopping for me at our favorite shop because I didn't have time to do it when we got to L.A.
And Sophia for making the All-Star team...she's a great player and teammate, and totally deserves it!
We're Back as the Season Gets Underway
Posted: June 16, 2005 9:15 a.m. ET
Hey y'all! I'm back! I enjoyed blogging so much when I was overseas that I figured I'd write during the season too! So lemme see...what's been going on...
Ok, so one of funniest things that has happened so far actually involved Caj (my little maltese puppy for all of you that don't remember). Caj and I actually did a photo shoot for a "Sports Illustrated for Kids" story on athletes and their pets. They decided to do the shoot in a nail salon, so there I was, holding Caj in one hand while he's getting his nails painted, and soaking my other hand in water getting ready for my manicure... and Caj just loved it!
Not only that, but the supervisor of the photo shoot loved Caj so much that while she was kissing him and letting him lick her mouth (I don't even do that!), she got her bright pink lipstick all over his mouth! My family always jokes about how I have a gay dog... but now that he's a model with painted nails AND has worn pink lipstick, can I even argue with them!?! :) It was definitely fun though. I hope the pics turn out good... I think they're coming out in this month's issue, but I haven't seen them yet.
So this is kind of random, but since we have a three-game road trip coming up, I figured I'd share. One thing I love about going on the road as a veteran is that I already know exactly where and what I want to eat in the different cities we go to. Like in Phoenix, I always go to California Pizza Kitchen for pre-game meal... and now I found a great sushi place for after the game too. Or in Seattle, I always go to Benihannas the night before the game and this great sandwich place for pre-game meal. And of course, Lemon raspberry cream cheesecake from the Cheescake Factory after the game! I love it that even when we're on the road, I can find that little bit of consistency. It definitely helps the time away from home go by faster.
Speaking of food, we had a team barbeque the other day. Everyone brought a dish and Pee Wee and 'Toya were cooking on the grill while we all chilled at the pool. We almost got rained out (I was scared because I REALLY wasn't trying to get my hair wet) but it stayed dry enough. I brought sodas because I don't really cook... although V.J. did teach me how to make the barbecue baked beans she brought. They were soooo good... I'm gonna try to make them for the next event so I told her she had to make something else! :) Biba's Polish salad was a big hit and Shyra's mac & cheese was good as always.
The one thing I love most about this year is my teammates! We have such great team chemistry off the court and I think that it will definitely translate into on the court success this season. It's a night-and-day difference from last year and I am having so much fun! So I hope if you get a chance to see my team play, it looks like we're having as much fun as we are!
Well, I think that's it for now. Until next time, enjoy the upcoming games! :)
San Antonio Silver Stars center Chantelle Anderson is brave. No, seriously. Along with many other WNBA stars, Chantelle took her game overseas this offseason to stay sharp and be ready for the summer. But not many players were bold enough to choose to play in Siberia. That's where Chantelle was this winter, having played for Dynamo-Energiya in Novosibirsk from January thru March and shared her "Tales from the Tundra" every couple of weeks.
Back From Siberia, Beginning to Thaw Out.
Posted: March 23, 2005 4:01 p.m. ET
It’s been so long since we talked! So here’s the update…
There are certain moments in life that make you ask yourself “where am I and why am I here?” I found myself in one of those moments on a recent road trip when we got on the train. Initially, when I heard we were going to be riding the train for 8 hours, it didn’t sound like the highlight of my life. But when we boarded and I actually saw it, I was like “oh heck no!” It was so wrong. There were four of us, luggage and all, in a 6 by 6 room with four beds (two on the top and two on the bottom). Me and Asjha were in a room with two people that we didn’t know and we had no space! I couldn’t even straighten my legs on the bed! But the room wasn’t even the worst part…that was by far the bathroom. You know how the nightclub bathrooms are when u GOTTA go at 2am? Well, it was worse than that! (now that’s just gross!) I wanted to wipe the entire thing down with hand sanitizer and wash myself with it afterwards. Its was positively disgusting…needless to say, I didn’t touch anything.
Thankfully, the train wasn’t a sign on how the rest of the trip was going to go. We got there and the hotel was actually pretty nice. But by dinner time, Asjha and I were starving and the food they had for us was not that good, so our coaches told us that there was a McDonald’s right around the corner from the hotel. So we’re thinking, we didn’t see a McDonald’s on the drive in…and we definitely would have noticed…but we decided to check it out anyway. So we’re walking down the street and I see the “golden arches” around the corner. So I get all excited, and Asjha’s still looking like ummmm…so we turn the corner and are like “what!?!” We were standing in front of a place called McDuck’s…NOT McDonald’s! It had the yellow sign and everything…it was the FAKE golden arches! They weren’t even arches…they were block letters! We were just like “for real?“ So we ended up eating there anyway (only because we were absolutely starving) and it was so nasty. The burgers were like cardboard with ketchup. I’ve never missed McDonald’s so much in my life.
After the first game of the road trip we left and took the train (uuuggghhh) to Moscow. The hotel that we stayed in was really nice. So nice in fact, that they had a tanning salon. Now, I know that Black people don’t usually go tanning (as Asjha repeatedly reminded me of when I was deciding whether or not to go), but I was getting so light and I was seriously sun deprived…I needed some warmth!!! Soooo, I decided to go. It was so funny because when I walked in, the lady at the desk kind of looked at me like “ummm, ok”. But it was all good because after I was done, I felt wonderful…and my skin was dark again! (YEAH!!!). So it was so worth it. Merciless teasing from Asjha = Complimentary…Two tanning sessions = 780 rubles ($26)…Getting my summer color back in Siberia = PRICELESS! J
So when we got back after that road trip, unfortunately, I got hurt and had to come home. It was extremely frustrating because I was playing really well…but that’s part of the job I guess. The good news is that I will be 100% when training camp starts…so it could’ve been a lot worse. So you guys won’t be getting anymore “tales from the tundra” (sad I know). Even though I didn’t want to come back, I am definitely lovin the sun now that I am…not to mention the re-beautification process that I had to go through after being in Siberia for two months. The whole process took two days…I got to San Antonio at 11:30 pm and of course was at the hair salon bright and early the next morning…haha. Then the next day was I went to the spa (finally got to get the mani-pedi and the facial I so severely needed) and the mall. It was wonderful! I love America!
So ya… it’s been great keeping y’all updated on what’s been going on…and don’t worry because it won’t be long until we see each other again because the season is only six weeks away!!! YEAH!!! I’m so excited…so I hope you are too! Until then…enjoy yourself!
Things I am SO happy to have back:
1. My long hair! Haha…there’s nothing better than a good weave!…LOL (I bet Asjha will laugh really hard when she reads this)
2. The weather in San Antonio (no more tanning beds for Chan!)
3. Breakfast restaurants (Le Peep Café and Waffle House…YUM!!!)
4. My Sidekick!!! Anyone that has one knows how essential they are…a regular phone just does not compare
Shout Outs: Asjha - I couldn’t have picked a better person to play with in Siberia…she is a great teammate, a winner, and a competitor (and taught me a little bit about being each)… thanks girl! Sorry I had to leave you there by yourself . Caj - for being super good on the 9 hr flight back home… and for coming there with me in the first place… and finally, all my teammates (new and old) in San Antonio - get ready because this summer is gonna be fun!
Separated at Birth? Hmmm. Not So Much.
Posted: Feb. 6, 2005 5:16 a.m. ET
It’s been awhile since I wrote, so I figured I’d update y’all
on life in Siberia. It’s actually going well. I’ve definitely adjusted
to the cold much better than when I first got here. Today it was a warm -11 (you
know it’s to cold when -11 is warm but hey, relative to the -41, it was a
couple days ago, it was warm). The two-a-day practices are annoying but not to
bad. Cashmere (my puppy) is still doing well and actually doesn’t mind playing
outside in the cold for a few minutes anymore. So all is good over here.
Ok, so yesterday after the evening practice, why did our coach want us all to go in the sauna? We were like “why? Is that random?” But we couldn’t say no, so we went. I guess everyone else knew that we were going because they had all brought their bathing suits, but me and Asjha (my American teammate over here) just ended up going in our practice clothes. When we got to the sauna, our trainer started doing massages with tea tree leaves dipped in water (I guess it was supposed to help relax our muscles or something). So there we were, laying on the burning benches (I felt like a piece of meat cooking on the barbeque), struggling to breathe the steaming hot air (I hate saunas), and getting our back and legs slapped and rubbed with leaves... WHO DOES THAT!?! Well, obviously some people do, but it’s not on my usual to do list.
After we got out of
the sauna, we were really hot so I wanted to go in the pool. Some of our teammates
were already in there so I begged and pleaded with Asjha until she came in with
the rest of us (I LOVE the water but apparently, she doesn‘t... haha). Our
coach even brought us some tea. I couldn‘t believe I was in Russia, sitting
in a pool with my practice clothes on (socks included because the floor around
the pool was filthy and we POSITIVELY REFUSED to walk on it barefoot), sipping
tea and joking around with the rest of my team that can barely understand English.
The entire sauna/pool experience was extremely random but it was so funny. I was
really like “what is going on here?”
We also took a week long trip to China a couple weeks ago. We had a long break between games so my team decided to take us to Bejing to play some “friendly games” with local Chinese university teams. We were there for six days, three days of practice and sightseeing and then three game days. We saw Tiananmen Square and actually climbed all the way to the top of the Great Wall (which is like a million steps!). It was crazy. There were only five of us on the team that climbed all the way to the top and it was SOOO hard! The next day at practice our legs were super sore! When I tried to run, my legs felt like lead from the knee down and jello from the knee up! Thankfully, my coach had climbed with us and he was feeling worse than we were, so practice wasn’t hard at all. And it was definitely worth it. I mean, how many people can say that they climbed the Great Wall of China!?! And the view from the top was amazing!
Ok, so one of the funniest moments of the trip was when we were at this restaurant (killin' some fried rice) and a Chinese man asked me and Asjha if we were twins (ok, we look NOTHING alike!) We were like, "ummm, no." He left and Asjha was like "what’s that saying about the pot and the kettle again?" We just started busting out laughing! She was like "didn't we just see him walking down the street five minutes ago?" (DISCLAIMER: this was NOT meant seriously or intended to offend anyone... but it was funny... and we’re not twins!) Lol... it was sooooo hilarious! We laughed about that for the rest of trip (actually, I still laugh whenever I think about it... hahaha). But the entire trip to China was a lot of fun and I’m really glad I got the chance to go.
I guess that’s it for the happenings in Novosibirsk, Russia. It’s been fun, at times, and definitely interesting. I’m actually enjoying myself. Yeah, after enjoying Siberia, I’m positive I can live anywhere and make the best of it. But anyway, I will keep you guys posted in the next few weeks. Until then, Parkah! That’s Russian for BYE! (see, I’m at least learning some).
Kisses from Russia,
Things I miss:
1. Going out to breakfast... the Belgian waffles, omletes, bacon, fresh squeezed orange juice... jeez!!!
2. Having my hair and nails done... especially my hair because at the moment, my braids look atrocious!!!
3. Wearing tank tops, dangly earrings, jeans, and flip flops (my most fav outfit during the summer). I can hardly wait til it’s hot again!
Kelly Clarkson, Vivian Green, and Mariah Carey, because their albums were continuously playing in my room in China... being that we were stuck staying in a hotel for a week straight. Kelly was most definitely the fav. And Café Mexico - our favorite restaurant over here. We go after every game... and definitely killin' the chicken quesadillas and grilled salmon!
Hey, This Isn't As Bad As I Thought
Posted: Jan. 11, 2005 3:41 a.m. ET
Ok, so I finally get here (after an 8 hour flight from New York to Moscow and a 4 hour flight from Moscow to Novosibirsk), and as the plane is landing, they made an announcement that the outside temperature is -32 degrees Celsius. Now, in the States, we tell the temperature by Fahrenheit, so I didn’t exactly know how cold that was, but I did know that -32 anything couldn’t be good. I looked at Asjha (Jones, my American teammate - baller for the Connecticut Sun) like “surely they’re joking,” but when she just laughed at me, I knew they were serious. That’s when I came to the conclusion that I was going to die. Not to mention, I didn’t get myself into this alone. I brought my son with me (meaning my 6 month old Maltese puppy, Cashmere), and he didn’t even know what to do getting off the plane. He just kind of whimpered and put his head as far into his bag as it could go. Strangely, I wanted to do the same thing. So here I am, Cali girl to the max, current resident of Texas, lover of beaches and sunny days, and I’m in Siberia (literally) for four months.
This is Caj... When I put that stuff on him, he was like "What the heck are you doing to me!?!"
Since we got in at 10 a.m. loca time, we had time to sleep before practice at 6 o'clock that evening (I was positive they were joking about making us practice that same day after traveling for 30 hours… but again, I was mistaken). And when I got to practice, I walked into the lockerroom and no one said a word to me. I was like, “Hello!” and they all just kind of looked at me. At the time, I thought they were all extremely rude. Now I know that my teammates are really nice, but excluding Asjha and one other girl on the team, they probably speak about 10 words of English combined. So as you can imagine, communication can be difficult at times (and I don‘t really plan on learning Russian either), but we manage. And thus began the routine of going back and forth from practice to home (we practice twice a day: at 11 and 6).
We did go out to eat after our first game (we played Samara and we lost,
although it was close and no one even expected us to be in the game, so that was
positive!). We went to this restaurant and it was actually really good, though
I was jealous of Asjha’s salmon because my ribs were to spicy. It was nice
to just change things up a bit.
So what do I do when I’m not practicing, you may be wondering? Well, I would usually read (I love to read), but I didn’t bring any books (I CANNOT BELIEVE I forgot them), so I usually just watch TV and play with Caj. Most of the shows are in Russian, but I do get MTV Base, which is from the UK and is in English. I saw “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica” in Russian the other day, and although it wasn’t the same (because I couldn’t understand it), the things that Jessica says still sound as dumb in Russian as they do in English (I guess it’s the tone). By the way, I cannot believe that they really, truly broke up! I was soooo mad! First Brad and Jen and now Nick and Jessica! I swear, if Will and Jada break up, all hope is lost! I am also way into Fashion TV too. That’s such an "overseas" thing, I know.
Other highlights include going to the grocery store (is that sad
that that’s a highlight? Haha.), shopping online (although I’m trying
to cut back), and tea time after practice. I know that sounds weird, but there
is a machine at the gym that makes the BEST tea. So after practice every day I
get a cup. It’s so cool because it has the sugar and lemon already in it
and it’s perfect… YUM! I look forward to it everyday. I guess with me
being here, it’s the simple things that make the difference. I am also addicted
to the internet! I don't know what players overseas would do without it.
Well that’s about it for my first week in Siberia. As for my initial opinion, it’s not the torturous prison I expected it to be. It could actually be a lot worse…so that’s a good thing. We’re going to China next week for eight days to play a short three-game tour, so hopefully something interesting will happen on that trip that I can tell y’all about. Until then, enjoy some sun for me!
Kisses from Russia,
Things I miss:
1. The sun, of course! When I left San Antonio, it was 70 outside!
2. Driving - we have a driver because there is so much snow and ice, but it’s annoying because I can’t just go somewhere when I want to. I have to arrange the drop off and pick up and, naturally, my driver doesn’t speak English so it’s all done through our translator. Uuggghhh!!!
3. Wearing make-up (and all other girly stuff that gets forgotten overseas)… don’t laugh because I’m serious. All I wear is sweats and the only place I go is practice. When I get home, I’m going straight to the spa and then the MAC Store! (Caj misses the spa too… he needs a milk bath and a trim desperately).
Daddy and Kristin (and the rest of the fam) - I miss talking to you guys all the time! Kisses! Love you! And Caj… I can’t thank him enough for coming over here and keeping me company (although it’s not really like he had a choice in the matter)… still, I tell him "thank you" everyday, even when he wakes me up at 7:30 am when I don’t have to get up til 9:45 :).