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Thanksgiving as a Team

Nov 23, 2012, 12:25 PM EDT

Thanksgiving is a special holiday when many give thanks for all that they have. Many families gather for a giant meal with a turkey, stuffing, potatoes and all the fixings. Most college-age students look forward to a break at home with their families before the stretch of finals, but there is a special group of college students that don’t always get the opportunity to enjoy the break at home…. student-athletes.  This year a number of the CAA women’s basketball student-athletes didn’t get to go home to enjoy a big turkey dinner with their families since we are in the middle of hoops season and a number of the teams have scheduled games during this time.

George Mason’s women’s basketball team was traveling to play in the New Mexico State Aggie Thanksgiving Tournament during the Thanksgiving holiday, but they prepared a video sharing their favorite Thanksgiving foods/dishes, traditions and memories.

Georgia State’s women’s basketball program hosts a Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 23-24 and head coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener scheduled the team to assist with a community service project on Wednesday. The Panthers spent time helping Hosea Feed the Hungry organization in Atlanta, Ga. Hosea is in its 41st year and feed over 15,000 people at the Georgia World Congress Center during Thanksgiving Day.

The Tribe of William & Mary were traveling on Thursday as they were headed to San Antonio for a tournament at UTSA.  The team practiced in the afternoon and then were treated to a special Thanksgiving dinner hosted by junior guard Victoria Willems’ parents.  Head coach Debbie Taylor makes it a point to have the team around family during the Thanksgiving holiday. One of the W&M’s women’s basketball’s mottos is “One Tribe, One Family” and the basketball staff works hard to keep that true especially during the holiday travels.

“I enjoyed the Texas twist on Thanksgiving dinner and spending time with friends and family.” -Kyla Kerstetter

“Even though our lives are filled with basketball right now, we were able to be surrounded by family for the holiday.   It was awesome having Vic’s family open their arms to us for Thanksgiving dinner. It help me forget I wasn’t with my own family.” -Jazmen Boone


James Madison’s women’s basketball team had a game schedule for Thanksgiving Day as they played Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Cancun Challenge. The Dukes pushed the Phoenix to overtime and earned an 89-86 victory. JMU’s Tarik Hislop poured in a career-high 32 points, including 10 during the extra period, to lead the Dukes.

Old Dominion Lady Monarchs took the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to visit some patients at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughter in Norfolk.