Sept. 21, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- A lot of times when we think of a team, we only think of the players and coaches, but we forget about all the other people who make up a team. People like the trainers, the managers, the strength and conditioning coaches, the secretaries, the janitors, etc. Without all of these people, a team would simply not be a team. For our women's basketball team, the story is no different. I am going to describe to you members of our team that you probably have never really thought about. First up is our manager Tasha Gray and second is our trainer Queenie Soriano.
Tasha has been our manager for four years and is like our mom. Whatever we need, it seems Tasha always has. Whether it's an extra pair of shorts, another pair of shoes, some Kleenex or a blood stain in our uniform, Tasha has it covered. Sometimes I think she knows magic tricks because I will walk up to her and she has what I need already in her hands. I still don't know how she does it.
As our manager, some of Tasha's duties include putting out clean practice gear before every practice, running the scoreboard and clock at practices, washing our stinky practice gear and uniforms, getting our sizes for shoes and gear, getting paper work organized for us to sign, and giving Coach Flanagan his clipboard during every timeout of games.
I think I give Tasha the most credit for the dirty work she does. After practices, I don't even want to touch my own practice gear, yet Tasha takes them out and washes them everyday, although she does have gloves now. She was giving me a hard time this summer about all the blood I had on my uniform this past season. She said she now carries a Tide To Go Pen in her purse, so she is ready for anything.
These may sound like laborious tasks, but Tasha does it with a smile on her face everyday. She makes you feel good every time you see her. We walk into our locker room and everything is set and ready for us to go. Tasha is one of the hardest working people on our team, often the first one at the gym and the last to leave.
To a lot of us on our team, Tasha is more than just our manager, but she is one of our best friends. We are so lucky to have Tasha on our team.
Now for our trainer, Queenie Soriano.
Queenie is the person that does everything she can to keep us on the court. She arrives early to every practice or game to fill water bottles, conduct treatments, stretch players and tape ankles. She stays late making ice, conducting more treatments and making sure everyone is okay. I think Queenie's favorite job is filling up ice baths for us after a tough workout. She loves waiting until everyone gets in, and gets used to the temperature, then she grabs a big tub of ice and dumps it all in with a smile on her face.
Although she may have a little evil streak in her, there is no doubt Queenie is good at her job. Last year in the WNIT game against Kansas, the referee discovered blood dripping down my leg, as I walked to the bench Queenie was ready, tape and gauze in her hand. It took her about 15 seconds to get it cleaned up. Then about a minute later, Georonika Jackson also had blood dripping down her leg. Again, Queenie was ready and had G back on the court in no time. As I was standing by the referee, I told her that Queenie deserved a bonus. Queenie also worked with Nikki Nelson and Porche Torrance everyday and has helped them recover from their ACL surgeries.
I think my teammates would all agree with me when I say that we wouldn't trade Queenie for anybody. Whether it's a runny nose or a sprained ankle, Queenie is there ready to help. Queenie is good at what she does and she does it with passion. We are very lucky to have her on our team.