Thursday, December 5, 2013
Thursday Cardinal Couple
THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Brains, beauty and a baller -- Jude Schimmel gets it done on and off the court
-Nita Slaughter -- we wait and hope
-Walz Radio Show -- An hour well spent
University of Louisville junior guard Jude Schimmel has been nominated for the Allstate Good Works Team. It doesn't mean she has to go out and do insurance claims or appear in those mind-numbing TV commercials...it is an award that honors college athletes who have made a difference in their communities with civic service, volunteering and public commitment.
That would be Jude. Travelling the country with her family visiting tribal reservations, she and her kin have become the most recognizable native American symbols for what hard work, dedication and teamwork can achieve.
In addition to being the feisty, playmaking leader on the court, she has spent the last three years making speaking appearances at reservations, conferences and gathering across the USA. Wherever the University of Louisville women's basketball team has travelled to for competition, 100's of fans want to access her and her sister, scores of Native Americans attend the contests to shake her hand, take her picture and hear her encouraging message.
A positive impact on and off the court? Oh yeah, you betcha.
Below...Jude reflects on the mission:
"When Native Americans come to our games, they are like, 'Our kids look up to you. You are the biggest inspiration.' It means a lot to us. We're just trying to do better and be better not only for us but because we want other Native Americans to know that they can do it, too."
On the court, Jude is a crafty ball-handling and defensive star who can also drain a three and go coast-to-coast for a layup. In the classroom, she carries a 3.777 GPA and is scheduled to receive her bachelor's degree this summer.
Yes...one of the "attack Yorkies" under Walz's tutelage has come quite far. We wish her and the rest of the team the best of luck this season and a trip to Nashville this spring.
At the time of the writing and publishing of today's CARDINAL COUPLE, Nita Slaughter was still undergoing tests and observations in Jewish Hospital for her collapse Tuesday night at the start of the Missouri State game.
We've received dozens of e-mails here at the CARDINAL COUPLE from fans of other college women's basketball programs expressing sympathy and support for the senior guard/wing and inquiries on what exactly happened. Here's the chain of events.
Slaughter started the game and was replaced by substitution at the 17:44 mark. She scored the first UofL basket of the game at the 19:41 mark. Seated on the bench next to Tia Gibbs, Nita mentioned to Tia that she was feeling dizzy and light-headed. Seconds later, her head slumped, her body went stiff and she actually collapsed and slid behind assistant coach Sam Williams on the bench, who was watching action at the other end of the court...where the Cards were advancing the ball after forcing Missouri State into a turnover.
Gibbs caught Nita's head and the bench reacted to the slumping Slaughter. Walz, who was also watching the on-court action was notified by several players and coaches that something was wrong with Nita, turned to the bench and assisted with the then incoherent player. She was laid carefully on the court, a towel under her head, and staff and EMS medical attendants gathered around her. After a brief time on the floor, she was lifted onto a stretcher and taken off the court. The determination was made to immediately transfer her to Jewish Hospital.
I was on press row, across the court from the UofL bench and watching the game and did not see the incident. I first became aware of it when the ball advanced over the half court line and I saw the UofL bench standing around an undetermined player on the floor. At first, we didn't know who it was. A rapid player count of those standing led me to believe it was either Nita or Monny Niamke...I couldn't fully see if she was standing as she was behind a taller player.
We hope that the diagnosis is good for the affable three-point specialist and she is cleared to play after it is determined that she can do so without the scary event ever happening again.
Jeff Walz is back on the air with a weekly, one-hour radio show Wednesday nights on ESPN 680 AM in Louisville. He and Matt Andrews discussed a variety of Cardinal Women's basketball topics and took phone calls as well.
My favorite calls were..
1) the whiner who was wimping about his seat selection and why the University didn't penalize fans who didn't attend games who had seats better than his. I thought Walz handled it well, mentioning that through scanning devices when you enter a game...they could compile a list of those season-ticket holders who were infrequent attenders and talk to them about possibly providing their tickets to others if they were unable to show up.
2) the caller (Robert, I think) who point blank asked Walz how do you beat UConn? Coach and Matt discussed this over the next five minutes and Walz offered a blue-print for eventual success over the Huskies that entailed recruiting, coaching, training techniques and talent. He didn't predict any victories over the Geno-led Storrs dwellers...but never underestimate the man who designed the Baylor beating last season.
All-in-all, an hour well spent. It worked out great for me, since I was in snarled traffic for 3/4th of the show and could listen while I was fuming at a backed up Interstate system.
Like Sammy Hagar, I can't drive 55. Yesterday, I couldn't even drive 5 for what seemed forever. Coach Walz and Matt Andrews kept me company and I'll be back to listen next Wednesday night.
Hopefully at home and not in snarled gridlock.