In some alternate universe, there could be a National Lampoon Vacation’s “Lady Lions go to California.”
It would be just like any other National Lampoon — a family filled with laughs, and adventures, seeking a good time.
Most students went home on break to see their families, but the Lady Lions stayed on the road, keeping each other company, in order to compete in the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth Thanksgiving Tournament in Northridge, Calif., 2,589 miles away from State College.
While some people get sick of their families pretty quickly, this group of student-athletes jives to a different beat.
Sophomore forward Tori Waldner said she really enjoyed the trip as the team had a best of both worlds with a basketball tournament and fun activities, such as going to Universal Studios and a live taping of the show “Whitney”.
“I think being able to bond over scary rides or fun rides [at Universal Studios], will help bring us closer [on and off the court],” Waldner said.
The trip exposed a lot about themselves, senior center Nikki Greene said.
Greene was able to learn a few things she did not already know about some of her teammates, such as how they react to being frustrated or if they liked to be hugged.
However, Greene’s most memorable memory on the trip was when the team entered the Haunted House at Universal Studios.
“Everybody became an infant when we went into the Haunted house,” Greene said. “Everybody was holding each other’s hand, screaming, laughing, crying…It was one of the best team bonding experiences ever.”
Freshman center Candice Agee added that little things like that help carry over onto the basketball court, building more of a trust and flow to the game.
“The more we spend together, the more and more, we know each other deeper and more emotional and knowing our physical and mental limits,” Agee said.
Agee did not join the team on the trip to Universal Studios, as she was only an hour and 50 minutes away from her hometown of Victorville, so she chose to spend the day with her family.
It was the first time she has seen her family since August after playing on the U-18 USA National Team.
Unlike her other teammates, Agee said her favorite part of the trip was winning the Thanksgiving Tournament Championship and doing it in front of her family.