Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day One: Nov. 15 - Travel Day - Part I

Oh the joys of travel! Schlepping bags here and there, 3.4 oz. bottles and zip lock baggies, nearly disrobing entirely to get through airport security and the most fun of all, flight cancellations. My trip to basketball paradise will have to wait another day as I attempt to make my way across the country from Seattle to St. Thomas, but I have yet to quit smiling at the thought of spending time enjoying my two favorite things—college basketball and tropical beaches. Are they really happening at the same time? Wow!

It took some creative booking to get my flight rebooked after the Seattle to Dallas flight was cancelled. Most people are too tired at 4 a.m. to be angry—except for one lady. She screamed at the airline agent as if somehow the weather in Dallas was his fault. Poor guy, he just smiled and took it.

They asked me a couple of days ago to blog the 2006 Paradise Jam, and what blog would be complete without the obligatory angst and woe from the writer? There you have it—the first two paragraphs are all you’re going to get. From here on out, it is “my life in paradise” at the 2006 Paradise Jam!

So who is this basketball blogger anyway? My name is Dana Hinman and I am the media relations director for this year’s tournament. In a previous life, I was a teacher, coach and collegiate athlete. I then moved on to work in communications for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in Atlanta, Ga., which is where I became reacquainted with Nancy Hawkinson (nee Hove) from Basketball Travelers, Inc. Turns out BTI and the WBCA have been in partnership for a few years, and Nancy and I went to high school together. (Some of you may remember Nancy’s all-star days as a basketball player from Auburn (Wash.) High School and the University of Washington.) After three years with the WBCA, I missed my home in the Great Northwest and headed back west where I now live and work. (Shout out to the girls at City Hall—wish you were here!)

I have to say, I was flattered and grateful that Nancy and the BTI crew asked for my help this year and jumped at the chance to spend time in St. Thomas covering some of the opening games of the collegiate basketball season. It will be a nice break from the grey clouds and pervasive Seattle rain. And so begins my blog, I am on my way to St. Louis, then Miami, and I will eventually touch down in St. Thomas tomorrow—stay tuned! And before I sign off--thank you Becky and the entire BTI staff for all the help today--whew!

Dana “Taking the Long Way” Hinman
(points for knowing the who sings the above song)

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