The five young women around the table listened to the question, and played with it like it was a cat toy.
Yes, that's it. Exactly. They were five cats playing with a cat toy. Batting it around. Chasing the question up this line of thinking. Following it down this tunnel of logic. Letting it sit there for a second, as if somehow it would move. Then they would pounce with their words, one talking fast, the next one talking faster and before I knew it was like there were 50 young women in that meeting room at SRJC's Haehl Pavilion, words flying around like so many mini-sonic booms, bouncing off walls and ears.
"We love talking over each other," said McKenzie Mangino. "It's so much fun."
Six SRJC women basketball players have been offered and accepted scholarships to play the sport at four-year colleges. The number was unprecedented, almost half the team. Their coach, Lacey Campbell, has a little dynasty going. The SRJC women, after all, have made the state Final Four three of the past four years. Five times she was named Big 8 Coach of the Year. Campbell has a 189-76 record in her eight years at SRJC.
Only forward Anandi Jimenez, who prepped at Montgomery, was missing.
So, Skyler, have you ever been to Fort Kent?
Guard Skyler Olsen is going to the University of Maine-Fort Kent, which is farther north and east than Montreal and Quebec City, where even the squirrels wear booties.
"I heard there's a bunch of moose there," Olsen said.
And that started a stream of what sounded like animal noises and animal references, how they were sure as hell weren't going to visit her on spring break.
So, had she been there?
Olsen shook her head and, boom, off they went again. Yeah, yeah, you like adventure, Sky, but this is life with moose we're talking about it here and don't bring your flip-flops, girl and .
"Skyler is tough. She's from Kelseyville," said one of them, probably guard Whitney Edens who is going to Hawaii-Hilo and is from from Cloverdale. All I knew was that it came from the right side of the table. Edens and Mangino, who's also going to Hilo, were on the right side. On the left side were Arianna Hanson, Jade Hudson and Olsen. Hanson and Hudson are going to Cal State Dominquez Hills, as will Jimenez.
I quickly determined, if I were to keep my sanity, I would have to think of this interview like a ring announcer for a boxing match. In this corner, in the red trunks, looking fit, we have Whitney and McKenzie. In the other corner, in the blue trunks, looking like they can take it as good as they give it, we have Arianna, Skyler and Jade.
Everyone stayed on their side except when Hudson, who's from Fortuna, climbed on the center of the table and started beating it with her fists. Why? It had something to do with someone on the right side talking about how tough Hudson was and how players looking for a block would bounce off her and she would be like a Colossus standing there resolute and that's when Edens made this grunting noise like this is what Colossus sounds like.