The Bucket List

Each year, the sports information director gives each player a handout they must return to use in the women’s basketball media guide.  Somewhere in that handout are a several personal questions.  I think the idea is to get to know the players and how they think off the court.

Silly questions like their favorite color, their favorite television show, or what they want to be when they graduate are the most in-depth these questions get.  I thought I’d take a different approach to getting to know my players.  I asked them to tell me what the top item was on their bucket list.

Did you see that recent movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List.  That’s the list these two guys made when they were sure they would “kick the bucket.”  The unlikely pair of a multimillionaire (Jack Nicholson) and the overachieving mechanic (Morgan Freeman) begins a journey when they think their days are numbered.

I think it was hard for my players to grasp the idea of the desperation that Nicholson and Freeman did in the movie.  They did, however, take a good stab at it.  The results were interesting.

Before I get to their list, they posed the question to me.  This isn’t going to sound very adventurous, but at the top of my bucket list would be to taste every flavor of ice cream ever made.  During the basketball season, I sneak a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream to celebrate wins, or a pint of Garcia’s Cherry Nut to overcome the depression after a loss.  If it’s a real big win, I’ll pile on the ingredients.  There’s nothing like plain vanilla ice cream with your own sugar cookie dough, hot fudge sauce, cherries and nuts on top, with a big scoop of peanut butter on the side to mix in as you eat to celebrate winning the MIAA Tournament.  I hope I get the chance to test a new recipe this year.

Enough about me; lets get to know my players and how they think.  There were three players that liked a little taste of danger with their bucket list topper.  I’ll just use first names to tell you that Ashley and Denise wants to sky dive.  It doesn’t sound very dangerous, but Emily wants to swim with the dolphins.  I hear sharks feed on dolphins.  I wonder if Emily knows that fact?

I don’t get the sky diving.  Who in their right mind would want to jump out of a perfectly good plane and hope some strip of cloth catches the air before you are flattened to the ground like a pancake?  If either had said that they would like their favorite “hunk” celebrity to be attached to the same parachute, I would understand the “bucket” a little more.  I could live with swimming with the dolphins if ice cream was served after our romp in the ocean.

Meridee and Victoria must be out of their minds.  At the top of their list is a bubble bath.  That seems like a nice, relaxing activity until you hear the stipulation that goes with the bubble bath.  Meridee wants to be joined by Taylor Lautner in her tub of suds.  I had no idea who this Lautner guy was so I googled him.  Taylor Lautner is a werewolf in the movie series, Twilight.

Think that’s bad, Victoria wants to be escorted to her bubble bath by Edward from Twilight.  Again, Googling Edward from Twilight, I found he is played by Robert Pattinson.  Did I mention, Edward is a pale looking vampire in the movie series?

So if Victoria and Meridee double date into a rather large tub of bubbles, they probably should take a wooden stake and a silver bullet to ward off these monsters from twilight.  I must be missing something.

Several of my players just wanted to meet people without being distracted by bubbles.  Alexis wanted to meet Jillian Michaels and have a workout session with her.  Michaels must be some fitness guru.  Maybe I’m not working them hard enough in practice.

Candace probably didn’t want as much physical stress.  Her selection was Carrie Underwood.  Shelly wants to meet and go surfing with Bethany Hamilton.  Remember what happened to Bethany?  She’s the young girl who lost her arm in a shark attack while surfing.  She jumped right back on the surf board and now competes in surfing contests.  Maybe Emily and Shelly can get together for a dolphin-surfing trip.

Abby wants to meet Lil Wayne.  Again, I headed to Google to find out Lil Wayne is a rapper and Abby would like to join in.  I looked up his 6 foot, 7 foot ….., rap song.  It starts, “Six-foot, Seven foot, Eight foot bunch, . . .  I can’t go much farther with the lyrics.  Those are words I can only say as I jump out of an airplane like Ashley and Denise.

Two players wanted to visit a specific place.  The top spot on Annie’s bucket list was a trip to Africa.  That can include a lot of area.  Did Annie want to hunt diamonds in South Africa?  Maybe she wanted to visit the resorts in Morocco.  How about finding the lost mommies in the Sahara Desert?  No, Annie wanted to go on safari.  She’s a big fan of Animal Planets and like the show on big cats.  She’d take pictures rather than stuff the heads of leopards or cheetahs.

Maggie wanted to stay in the United States with a visit to the White House.  She’s the player I have that loved the movie Gone with the Wind.  She really liked the part where Rhett dumped Scarlett for the last time.  If she got to spend a night at the White House, I’ll bet they would put her in the Lincoln bedroom for the night.  There’s nothing better for a person interested in the Civil War than to check out the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.

I was almost afraid to read Tara’s bucket list.  Last year, the sports information director asked Tara what she wanted to become after college.  She answered a house wife.  If anyone knows Tara, that would knock you off your feet.  When asked about what car she would like to own, Tara was much more specific.  It had to be pink, with a huge stereo system, sun roof, etc, etc, etc.

Her bucket list was simple and complete.  She said she wanted to do everything humanly possible.  I wonder if she included tasting all those flavors of ice cream.

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Gene Steinmeyer

About Gene Steinmeyer

Gene Steinmeyer coached the Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball team for 13 seasons before retiring after 26 years as a collegiate head coach after the 2011-12 season. He retired as the second winningest women’s basketball coach at Northwest as his 2010-11 team won both the MIAA Regular Season and Tournament Championship advancing to the NCAA National Semifinals one game shy of the national championship game.