Sunday, March 2, 2008

Michigan Women's Basketball

On Sunday, March 2, 2008, the regular season ended for the University of Michigan Women’s basketball team. For my daughter and I (season-ticket holders), it was a bittersweet day. The bitterness came from the outcome of the game, a 48-63 loss to the Golden Gophers from Minnesota. The sweetness came from the terrific turn-around from last season. This year’s team finished with a 16-12 overall record, and a 9-9 record in the Big Ten. When you consider that the team won only three Big Ten games COMBINED in the past two seasons, you understand the magnitude of the change.

The make-up of this year’s team was nearly the same as last year’s. Only one senior graduated last year – Kelly Helvey (a terrific player). Thus, this year’s team had only one freshman member – Veronica Hicks (who has shown tendencies to be equally terrific).

So how did a team that struggled last year under a different coaching staff turn it around? They did it with passion. The new head coach, Kevin Borseth, brought a new drive to his team. From the outset this season we (my daughter and I) saw it. Coach Borseth came in with the bona-fides as a great coach in the Women’s game. His team bought into it, and as the season progressed, the fans who regularly came to the games, bought into it as well. The symbiotic relationship between a team and its core group of fans was born.

When Coach Borseth was introduced last spring, he said something that struck me. He asked us to look around at Crisler Arena, and envision the lower bowl being FULL. I could picture it immediately. Then he told us to get our tickets (or, in my case, to renew my season tickets) while we still can. He was THAT confident that his team would perform such that more and more fans would show up and cheer on his team.

On January 13 of this year, Michigan hosted the Lady Spartans from Michigan State. And, what do you know? The lower bowl was nearly full!

It’s just another example of someone bringing about what they think about. Coach Borseth had already pictured the lower bowl being full of fans for his team, and it happened.

For a True Blue fan like me, it was a sweet victory that day against MSU.

I’m sure that most of you sports fans have already seen Coach Borseth’s passion on display on ESPN and other media, following a heartbreaking loss to Wisconsin on February 28. But, in case you haven’t, here’s the video.

See what I mean? That’s passion about your job!
Go Blue!

Congratulations to the 2007-2008 Michigan Women's Basketball Team!

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