TABLA, TABLA Junior Counselors, Updates

Checking in on our Junior Counselors & Happy Holidays!

BY BEA CHANG | DIRECTOR OF EVERYTHING AWESOME

The year 2020 is… oh, it is so many things. It upended all aspects of our lives, changed the way we perceive and do, well, everything. To play basketball, any basketball, now, with or without fans, feels like a long-ago luxury. The NCAA was cancelled: Mady Burdett, Makana Stone, and our TABLA camper, Megan Mattison, were on the east coast, preparing for their Sweet Sixteen when their coach got the news. Mikalya Pivec was drafted into the WNBA on a virtual draft, but the rookies never got their training camp and the whole league played in a bubble (yay, Storm!). Since then, a new normal, a new kind of strange intimacy: I got to see the insides of my staff’s houses (and Sara’s closet) I never would’ve if it wasn’t for Zoom; I had to track the neighbor’s gardener’s lawn mowing schedule so that I could schedule virtual training sessions; I got to see the garages of TABLA campers; Taylor Fahey drove around the Seattle area to help me see if the restroom at public parks were open.

It is super important to be engaged in an environment with people who have the same goals and ambitions as you, and TABLA never fails to bring us all together. Even after TABLA, the connections never died…that’s how you know it was real!

– Mady Burdett, Whitman College, 1st Year TABLA JC

We are all doing what we can to move forward, in the face of overwhelming change in this unprecedented year. Kerstin is currently passing the pandemic by workinggggg! She was able to coach her high school girls for a few weeks in between COVID restrictions. Otherwise she’s kept herself busy at home by working out and binge watching shows. Sara, on the other hand, has just finished graduate school this month, earning an MS in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention with an emphasis in nutrition. She will start her internship this January. Additionally, she passes her pandemic days teaching physical education to middle and high school students online. She is excited to get back in the gym when this is all over! 

Right as TABLA 2020 was cancelled, I got a job in Taiwan, where my parents are from. Since August, I have been teaching middle school literature at an elite private school in Taipei. We are closing in on 250 days without a local transmission, so life is normal, except a mask mandate in crowded public places. With the help of its passionate seniors, I am also fighting for and coaching the first official girls’ basketball at the school in its 75-year history. We have just started a pen pal program with the girls at Redmond High School. They can now make a few lay-ups. Whoop!

Our Junior Counselors have spread wide and far since the pandemic started–from Seattle to Colorado to Spain to England. They have figured out a way to pursue their life and athletic goals. Here’s a quick interview with them all. From all of us at TABLA, we wish you a safe and happy holidays with your family and we hope to see you next summer!

Imari Clinton, Hope International University

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am currently in Bothell, Washington. Also, I nanny two toddlers and coach 7-9 year olds.

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

I am currently not playing basketball unless I’m at practice with my kiddies. Covid restricts me from working out the way I want to, for example, going to the gym. I get bored a lot from doing the same thing everyday, so that’s annoying as well. I walk and run around with my players at practice when I can, but probably not in the shape I was in last year.

3) Where are you going to spend your holidays?

I am supposed to spend the holidays with my family, so I am excited just to get out of the house. 

4) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?

The 2020 election. 

5) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

That a lot of people don’t care about you the way you thought they did. 

6) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA?

My fondest memory of TABLA is when I beat Mikayla Pivec’s team in the 3v3 tournament! I also miss being around everyone and inspiring young girls to play.

Mikayla Pivec, Oregon State University

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

I’m currently in a town called Logrono, located in Northern Spain. I’m playing basketball here professionally and living abroad. After completing my Master’s Degree at Oregon State this past September, I’ve had more time to explore other interests. I enjoy cooking and have been sharing some of my recent cooking creations on an Instagram page called @SwishesandDishes. 

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

Yes, I am currently playing basketball here in Spain. Playing through Covid is a different experience because we only have access to onegym during certain hours of the day. Additionally, we have limited fans at our games and we have bi-weekly aggressive nose swabs for rapid Covid testing. Thankful to be playing basketball, but we’ve definitely had to adapt to be able to continue playing. 

3) Where are you going to spend your holidays?

I’m going to spend Christmas with my family in Lynnwood, WA. I’ll be heading home from Spain on December 20th, right before Christmas. I’m glad I will get to spend extensive time with my family during the holidays. I haven’t had more than a 3-4 days with my family during Christmas over the course of the past 4 years due to playing and traveling in college.

4) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?

One of the most ridiculous things I’ve experienced in 2020 is one of my friends telling me that you can open a pineapple with just your bare hands. She tried to walk me through the steps of opening this pineapple by first rolling the pineapple on the ground in certain directions and then tapping the pineapple on the ground in a very specific fashion. This experiment produced a lot of laughs, but unfortunately this attempt at accessing the pineapple inside was unsuccessful. 

5) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

This year has been one of the most eye-opening years of my life. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things in life more, the importance of taking time to invest in relationships with others, understanding that nothing is given, and the value of direct communication.

6) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA

One of my favorite TABLA memories was working with our team to raise ticket sales for the 50/50 raffle at the Storm game. Seeing the campers try to convince and persuade people to buy tickets was both inspiring and amusing.

Lindsey Cleary, Claremont-McKenna College

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

In the Seattle-area working at Microsoft and coaching AAU basketball 

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

Not on a team, but still trying to stay in shape!

3) Where are you going to spend your holidays?

At home with my family, hopefully I’ve convinced them to get me a pet.

4) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?

I find it really entertaining to watch people film TikToks out at parks near my house, wish I was as good a dancer as them

5) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

The hardest thing, but also the most important is consistency. Showing up and putting in work every day is going to get results in whatever you are pursuing; you can’t expect success overnight.

6) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA?

I miss the community of female ballers! 

Makana Stone, Whitman College

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

I’m in the UK playing ball for Loughborough university and getting my master’s degree in exercise physiology. 

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

Essentially I am able to play for two leagues that are connected to the university: BUCS and NBL D1, which is also associated with the professional WBBL team. BUCS has been postponed while during the pandemic but I’ve been lucky enough to be able to play for the NBL and because the three leagues are connected, I am able to practice with the WBBL girls who push me to elevate my game every day.

3) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?
So many things 😂. The MOST ridiculous thing that I’ve experienced this year is that before we play the game, at every substitution, and after every time out we are required to sanitize our hands… which I only find ridiculous because of all the other points of contact from the game! But we gotta do what we gotta do

4) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

I’ve learned to live in every moment and have really consciously focused on not take moments for granted. 

5) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA?

I always look forward to seeing returning players and new players looking to elevate their game. I miss the whole TABLA team. Soo…December or January virtual reunion soon?

Taylor Fahey, Colorado Boulder

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am living in Colorado! I just finished up my last final exam for fall semester at the University of Colorado Boulder.

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

I am not currently playing basketball but there is an outdoor court by my house that keeps me sane. Thankfully the hoops have not been boarded up but I have to refrain from pick up games because not everyone wears a mask 😦 I have also been hiking to stay in shape!

3) Where are you going to spend your holidays?

I am going to spend my holidays with my family back home in Seattle. I have isolated with my housemates in Colorado to be sure I keep my family safe when I travel back.

4) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?

One funny memory I have is the wild goose chase that Bea sent me on to find outdoor basketball courts near Seattle (with bathrooms) because she was considering doing TABLA 2020 outside… I sent her countless videos of me attempting to open up bathroom doors at random parks. 

5) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

2020 gave me a new appreciation for simple things that I took for granted before like playing pickup basketball, hugging my grandparents, going out with my friends, etc etc etc. 

6) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA?

I really miss the people from TABLA and the fun/positive/chaotic-at-times energy that TABLA added to my life!

Mady Burdett, Whitman College

1) Where are you now and what are you doing?

I am currently in England playing basketball and getting my masters degree in Education!

2) Are you currently playing basketball? Where and what is that like under Covid? How is playing without fans? If you’re not, what are you doing to stay in shape or sane?

I am currently playing basketball for the Nottingham Trent University team and also for the National team in England. Our lifting and practice sessions are limited due to covid.. We lift twice a week and practice 3x a week followed by one game on the weekend or if we are lucky we sometimes play saturday and sunday. Right now only the national team has the go-ahead for basketball and games because it is classified as “elite”, but after christmas break the university team may get the thumbs up. If it does, I will be playing games on wednesdays for the university team and then games on the weekend for the national team. Without having fans, I’ve realized how important it is to bring the energy on and off the court, and how crucial it is to maintain it. 

3) Where are you going to spend your holidays?

I flew back to Arizona for the holidays and will be spending it with my family. I go back to England on January 5th. 

Solent Kestrels Womens VS Nottingham Trent In WNBL action. [ 29th November 2020 ]

4) What is the most ridiculous or humorous thing you’ve witnessed or experienced in the Year 2020?

I think the most humorous thing I’ve experienced in the year 2020 is after we play against a team, we aren’t allowed to high five them even though we just played a 1 hour game of full contact with them. It makes sense but it doesn’t….. 

5) What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from the Year 2020?

The most important lessons I’ve learned from the year 2020 is to count your blessings and to take risks! Having the regular routine of life be completely transformed and stripped away from you is an eye opening yet scary situation. I have found that counting my blessings everyday is important to keep myself present and sane. I’ve also learned how important it is to take risks and to do the things you say you’ve always wanted to do because you never know when that opportunity will be gone. No risk = no gain. 

6) What is your fondest memory of TABLA? Or, what do you miss most about TABLA?

What I miss the most from TABLA is being surrounded by a group of girls that genuinely love the game and want to get better both mentally and physically. It is super important to be engaged in an environment with people who have the same goals and ambitions as you, and TABLA never fails to bring us all together. Even after TABLA, the connections never died…that’s how you know it was real!

From all of us at TABLA, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season with your family. Hope to see you on the court soon!

Best,

The TABLA Fam.