View Full Version : The Banquet

Section 116
04-18-2011, 02:27 PM
I'll start this thread as I know there are others who can share their impressions etc. from the 2011 banquet.

The banquet was a sellout at 600. There were more inquiries but no seats available. A word to the wise for next season. When the banquet is announced, reserve soon.

The welcome and master of ceremonies was Steve Myklebust, voice of the Lady Zags. As luck would have it Cavebear33 is a longtime acquaintance of Myklebust and I had the good fortune to be introduced. A really likeable guy who truly loves the Lady Zags. While Myklebust related this story to the audience at large he mentioned it to Cavebear33 and me prior to the banquet and it is worth repeating here. After the Lady Zags won the WCC tourney in Las Vegas and en route to their hotel, the bus with the team etc. stopped at an In-And-Out Burger, a staple in the Calif, Nevada market among other locations. The team entered the restaurant to a standing ovation, which was interesting to Myklebust as he figured in a city like Las Vegas no one would pay particular attention to a bunch of young women in athletic gear. Anyway one indivdual in a Pepperdine T-shirt approached the group and said the food was on him. Freshman Stephanie Golden stepped forward and told the Pepperdine clad individual she was sorry but due to NCAA regulations the team would be unable to accept his offer. Myklebust thought it most remarkable a freshman was aware enough to be the one to offer that information.

Doors opened at 5pm for essentially a no host meet and greet. Team members circulated among the crowd posing for pictures, signing autographs and visiting with those in attenance. Interestingly, Carter and Courtney were absent for a bit but they did return and were extremely popular with the crowd. Frankly I could tell no difference in popularity as everywhere one looked there were crowds of fans.

Dinner was as 6pm and was actually quite good considering some banquet food in my past. Salad, bread, potatoes, steak or chicken and some sort of a toll house pie for dessert. Tables nicely adorned, attentive wait staff and great company.

Following dinner a few words from GU President Thane McCulloh, who noted the accomplishments of the team both on the court and in the classroom.

Then a few words from Coach Graves who said he was to limit his words to 2 minutes which, of course, did not happen. Graves talked about each of the seniors and their contributions. He also noted the past two weeks had been a whirlwind with Courtney and of interest to me, Graves mentioned whenever they (he and Courtney) were in an awards banquet, or an event of any sort the biggest buzz in the room was about Courtney, not Maya Moore, not Kayla Pedersen et.al. but but Courtney.

Then the seniors were introduced by assistant coaches. I didn't write down who introduced who but they came up to the podium after their respective introductions for their senior speeches. Carter was first up and related a story she had never told before. She would be up in what they refer to as the day basketball court with her headphones on and she used to dream she was a member of the team. Obviously this was early on and she never thought her dream would come true, but one day it did and she was thrilled. Also Carter brought up a recurring theme for many in their addresses as she covered the indelicate subject of team farting. I will leave that to your imagination but it brought down the house.

Tatriana Lorenzo related how she debated returning to the team for her fifth year. She said Heather and Vivien, who she came in with were gone, and many of her other friends on campus moved on and she just didn't now if she belonged. She debated going to coaches office and telling him there would be a spot for someone else as she was willing to move on. Of course that did not happen.

Claire Rapp was next up and she went into her elementary education mode as she worked the stage and stood behind each of her teammates and spoke of each of them and what they meant to her and to the team. She was actually quite accomplished, no doubt a reflection of her coming profession. One story she did tell concerned Kayla Standish against whom Clarire competed while in high school. She noted one time at a regional track meet Kayla beat her out by three tenths of a second for a berth at state, a fact of which she minded Kayla.

Jenelle Bekkering was up next. She revealed how when she was thinking of where she would go to college her dad put a list of things to consider while making her choice on her bed, a list which she still has, and displayed to the crowd. She noted her family was supportive of any choice she made but Gonzaga was the place for her and would allow family to come and watch he play. She noted it was a 7 1/2 hour drive from Taber, Alberta rather a common drive for those living in western Canada.

Coach Graves had the honor of introducing Courtney. Courtney said she promised herself she would not cry, but she did. Incidentally she was not the only one, including some in the audience who I noted wiped away tears on occasion. Courtney said she always knew she was going to Gonzaga, it was an easy choice for her and one she has never regretted. She thanked all of the staff, both academic and athletic, as did all of the gals. She noted, and I may be corrected here, Lisa Fortier spent two weeks on the road with her following the Elite Eight games and her time at the NCAA"s and the WNBA draft. She observed the clothes she wore were purchased with the help of Lisa as that sort of thing is really not her cup of tea. As always she thanked all her teammates and said none of what she is today and from where she had come would have been possible without them, a common theme Graves noted she said over and over during interviews nationally the past two weeks. Coutney thanked her mom and dad as they attended nearly all her games while in college. She said if they were to lose their respective jobs for excessive absenteeism they could come live with her in Chicago. Courtney also said, she loves Spokane and if you ever see her on the street, in a mall, on campus, anywhere and you want a picture, an autograph, anything just ask. She said she loves to have her picture taken. A most humble superstar.

Finally there was a nice video presentation, one which would be worthy of purchase were that possible. I don't know the answer to that one but it was exceptionally well done. There is much, much more and I know there are others who will fill in the blanks. The event cost $50.00 and was money well spent. I am ready for the season to start tommorow. Incidentally Coach Graves noted Danielle Walters and Haiden Palmer, both of whom were on the stage who did not play this season, Danielle because of a back injury, and Haiden because of transfer rules, are expected to contribute in a big way next season. And the incoming class is a good one.

P.S. I doubt there is a more attractive team in the country. In addition to their athletic prowess, this group is easy on the eyes!

04-18-2011, 03:18 PM

Thank you for the report ! Sounds like a terrific evening

04-18-2011, 04:33 PM
thankyou so much for that...I was hoping that the news would carry something about it.......

we're just becoming season ticket holders so I didn't feel right coming to this banquet....we're not even alumni....but I wish I had gone......that team was very special and I am so excited for next year.....will miss the Courtney and the seniors but I'm sure they will come around once in a while...

thx. again...

04-18-2011, 05:01 PM
this very special team really shone through Sunday night. 116, whom I like to call Scoop, covered the evening very well.

I will try to add a few impressions. First and foremost, from beginning to end it was really clear there was a lot of love between teammates and coaches.

Courtney was clearly fresh off the Merry go round that saw her being selected third in the overall by Chicago. She mentioned when I spoke to her that the past 10 days had been "crazy."

She let it all out, however, when she got up to talk about her teammates, her dearest friends on the team, her parents (whom she said came to nearly every game from Seattle) and all us, the Zag fans.

She also named & thanked the trainers, the assistant coaches, Kelly graves and even the chef who prepared our banquet. No one escaped her praise and thanks.

Singled out on the dias were seniors Carter Schick and Tatriana Lorenzo. CV could not keep her composure as she tried to properly thank them for all the hours they had spent together, working out, training, rehabilitating sore limbs and stretching bodies. She said Schick never once in four years missed a single meeting with CV in the workout room.

CV noted that Tatriana, who started as a freshman, only to be replaced the next year and for the rest of her five year career by CV, was nevertheless a dear friend and an on court opponent who pushed her every inch of the way as she went on (my words) to become the best in GU and NCAA history in points & assists.

Earlier, tatriana broke down as she recalled the tough decision she made to finish her fifth season with the Zags, having sat out a season following a lost year to an injury. She said she wound up staying because she loved her teammates and the school so much.

This even though she had graduated and the friends she had made in her class had already moved on.

Her reward, it became clear, was being part of the best Lady Zags team ever, for which the best player ever thanked her profusely and sincerely through much love and many tears.

Scoop mentioned Claire, but I thought she stole the show with her one-by-one synopsis of her teammates and friends. Earlier, Carter Schick had said she was going to miss all the girl things they all had done together over the years, adding she would never forget all the farting, either. The room erupted in laughter.

When Claire's turn came up she worked her way down the line, past CV and paused behind Carter, placed her hand on her shoulder and said something like, "Farting, Huh, Carter ? THAT's what you are going to remember most ?"

Then Claire turned to the audience and said, "And who do YOU think the biggest farter WAS on the team ?"

Raap then stood behind Schick and pointed at her for a couple of seconds, nodding her head up and down with a feigned frown, for effect, while all the teammates were laughing uncontrollably in apparent agreement.

Schick faked denial and the show moved on down the line. So it went.

Fun evening. Good humor. tons of love. And a fitting end to a great, historic season.

04-18-2011, 06:01 PM
Great reporting. Thank you Scoop and Gamagin and thank you to the wonderful Lady Zags, even the farters.

04-18-2011, 07:02 PM
sweeeeet......tough act to follow but cant wait for the ladies to lace up and start again

04-18-2011, 10:12 PM
Thanks, 116 and gam.

I read every word of your posts slowly..... twice. And enjoyed every moment as if I was there.

Wish I could have really been there.

So many great tid bits,.... as they not only relate to our seniors, but other returning members of the team also.

But one question............ No pics? :(


04-18-2011, 10:36 PM
I agree with everyone's thoughts and observations on the evening. It was wonderful! The meal was good and presented in a professional manor. I believe this is my 8th consecutive Awards Banquet. I suggest that everyone that missed the banquet to make an effort to attend the next banquet. I consider it the highlight of the year, well worth the price. This banquet is the best way that I know to polish the end of another successful season.

Some things about the Banquet that worked well:
> Players only with a head table format
> Pro-video representation, could be seen from almost any angle
> Steve Myklebust as MC,...the best person for the job, a natural
> A long program but was worth every minute
> I enjoy Coach Graves working the crowd before the action started

My only disappointment:
> I know that the program was long but I miss the giving out of the individual player awards. Perhaps next year...

04-19-2011, 12:37 AM
Good report Section 116, I knew you'd come through. It was a fun night. The ladies, as has been said many times, clean up nice! Steve Myklebust did a fantastic job as master of ceremonies. The food was great, and the team gave strong evidence of why their fans love them so much. A talented and appreciative group of young women, who thanked all who made the season so special for them, including the community at large. I can't wait for next year.

04-19-2011, 06:51 AM
Thanks, 116 and gam.

I read every word of your posts slowly..... twice. And enjoyed every moment as if I was there.

Wish I could have really been there.

So many great tid bits,.... as they not only relate to our seniors, but other returning members of the team also.

But one question............ No pics? :(


Sorry to be so slow, 'Neer.
ZaGranny's adventures will be up later today--consisting mostly of pics.


04-19-2011, 07:30 AM
There was a running joke among the teammates & coaches throughout the party that Janelle had to get the the rest of her GU career wrapped up, that she had to get everything in order and clear out because "she is about to be deported."

Apparently she only has a few days after graduation to remain in the U.S. before her student visa expires. So everyone has taken to working in her situation whenever they are talking and her name comes up.

As often as possible during the banquet, it was noted, for e.g., that it was time to say goodbye Janelle, or time to be nice to her, or return something that was borrowed, or just about do and say anything that would help remind her & everyone that she's facing this deadline.

In other words, it was time to treat her a little nicer, because she has to get out of the country and, presumably, will never return. All this was done in jest but pretty much in unison to endlessly tease her about the looming deadline.

So while Graves and fellow seniors praised her many accomplishments, including graduating (on time) with a 3.5 g.p.a. in Civil engineering, none failed to mention that she had to beat it out of town or else "face arrest". Or be "picked up by immigration". Or arrested in the middle of the night, or be hauled off by the border patrol.

The truth is, Graves noted, is that she does have to leave soon but it is also in order to re join the Canadian National Team.

Her contributions to the Lady Zags were also noted by the coaches. Included are the fact that she was named WCC honorable mention this past season, she became the 16th player in GU to eclipse 1,000 points, ending with 1,050.

Janelle wound up eighth in the GU record books in the 3-point shots made category with 121. She was also named to the WCC all-academic team for the past two seasons and leaves the school and the program after setting a very high standard of overall excellence that will long be remembered and appreciated.

04-19-2011, 05:19 PM
at the end of the banquet, an excellent video was presented featuring the seniors in particular and the best season ever, in general.

But one segment that lasted a minute or so featured Carter Schick, surrounded by Lady Zags, acting and talking like and mocking Coach Kelly Graves as he was talking to his team before a big game.

It was hilarious, judging from the howling that came from the players on the dias.

I looked directly across from our table and could see Coach Graves had both hands on his forehead and was nearly out of control with laughter, and perhaps a little embarrassment, as Schick rattled off a number of coach-like cajoles, warnings and very familiar (to the team) statements that apparently were part of his by now, very familiar, predictable, trademark pre-game pep talks.

It was clear Schick, besides being a very valued and much loved member of the team, was also the one most likely to crack up the entire group on any given moment.

It was Schick who did a little dance routine with CV every time she was was introduced at the beginning of a game.

It was also Schick who always was in the middle of the circle when the Lady Zags did their pre-game rally and ritual & dance prior to tip off, just like RS does for the men's team.

And it was always Schick who cheered the loudest during the games, insisting the crowd pickup the noise level. She brought 110% enthusiasm to every contest and even every time out.

She was also a crowd and cheering section favorite whenever she was sent in to play some basektball, usually with only a few minutes left to play.

The last part didn't seem to matter to her, clearly. What mattered to her and her friends and teammates, is that she was one of them and they loved her and all the things she brought to the Lady Zag family and the team. And coaches and crowds.

04-19-2011, 05:34 PM
This thread veritably begs the question, "will any of the incoming players and or redshirts be decent farters"? I suspect the redshirts have a pretty good leg up as they have been seasoned by the outgoing/present bunch. In an odd way, it is sort of comforting to know that if I bumped into a Lady Zag on the street I could ask her to pull my finger without the risk of embarassment.

04-19-2011, 11:05 PM
Oldsport - I may be an old-fart but I think the discussion on Team Gas is overblown and we need to move on. Some of us may consider the subject as a dark streak with our teams reputation. :o