High praise from Rizzotti
She gave me the following quote: "She’s been the best surprise for me since I got here. When you have a chance to coach her every day and notice all the little things she does, she immediately becomes one of your favorite players. She is another one of those kids who is in the right place all the time and I don’t think it is by accident. She is an absolute joy to have on your team. She does so many little things. I am big on the intangible things, I love players who bring intangibles and she brings a ton of intangibles. She has been really wonderful to have on the team."
I intentionally left out the player's name. Just curious if anybody would like to guess whether it was Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Breanna Stewart or Morgan Tuck she was talking about.
I will have a couple of stories in the near future from my interviews yesterday with Jen, Bria, Stefanie, Breanna and Morgan. But here are some thoughts from Jen as she prepares to lead the U.S. team down to Chile and in pursuit of the U-19 World Championship.
"I am very excited and a little nervous," Rizzotti said. "Obviously you always think you need more practice and more preparation but at the same time you want to see what your stuff looks like against somebody else. These kids have been to training camps (before), they’ve done this in years’ past. This gets kind of old coming to double sessions and staying in dorms. There is an added element when you travel and stay in hotels together, you are spending time off the floor in a foreign country
"You kind of feel like it is you against the world and at times that is the way we feel. Everybody wants to see us lose. We are there as a group of 15 to stand together and win against all odds. I think that element will add some excitement to it. Then there is a chance to play other people and use our depth against somebody other than ourselves and see what we can do. These guys are gamers. As much as they need to practice, they definitely want to play."
The tournament starts on Thursday with the championship game slated for July 31.