As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a die-hard Cal fan. On Saturday I took the kids to the women’s Pac-Ten basketball tournament at San Jose’s HP Pavilion to watch our beloved women Bears take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.
In conjunction with the basketball tournament, the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) was holding its Dads and Daughters program at 10:30 before the first game. A large crowd of mostly dads and their daughters gathered to hear words of wisdom from some of our greatest local female athletes and a couple of famous sport dads.
(L to R) Juli Inkster, Jennifer Azzi, Brandi Chastain, Bill Laskey, Brent Jones, Mark Purdy
Cal and Stanford each had a table full of “freebies” and women sports schedules, there was plenty of food and drinks, and two basketball shooting booths. However, everyone was there to hear from the speakers.
Brandi Chastain spoke of her military father who ended up coaching her soccer team and initially taught her how to run laps and do sit ups. He knew nothing about soccer, so he and Brandi would go to the library to get “how to play” soccer books and watch “Soccer made in Germany” to learn the game.
Jennifer Azzi talked about how her father would take her to every basketball practice, scrimmage and game. Her family wasn’t wealthy so her father built her a basketball hoop out of scrap materials. When Stanford won the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, Jennifer’s father stenciled onto the backboard, “Stanford #1.”
Juli Inkster’s father, who was as fireman, wanted her to play golf and was always asking Juli to go hit balls with him. However, growing up Juli wasn’t a big golf fan, preferring to play basketball, baseball and other sports. It wasn’t until Juli began working at Pasatiempo did she find the love for golf.
When Bill Laskey and Brent Jones retired from professional sports, they wanted to help their daughters get involved in sports. They figured the best way to be involved with their daughters was to coach them.
What I took home from the program is that girls need to play sports and it is up to us as parents to encourage our daughters (and sons) to get involved in organized sports. Spend time with your child because being involved in sports helps participants learn sportsmanship, team play, and competitiveness. Organized sports also helps to build leadership skills, confidence and it promotes healthy lifestyles for all involved. I would definitely attend another BAWSI event.
Cal wins 65-61
In the semi-finals on Sunday, Cal beat Arizona State, Stanford beat UCLA. In the finals last night, Cal got buried by a stronger Stanford team. Good luck to both teams in the NCAA tournament. Go Bears!
Me and my kids (Bear fans) surrounded by the Stanford women’s basketball team. (Jayne Appel is waving, Candice Wiggins has headphones on).