Countdown to 2011
The top 11 highlights of Candice Wiggins’ 2010.
by Candice Wiggins | @CandiceWiggins
As 2011 approaches, I can’t help but feel like it’s going to be MY year on the basketball court. But, 2010 has been way dope for me as well. Honoring the number 11, I now present this list of the “11 Best Events” of my 2010 (in chronological order):
11. Winning the Euro Cup, Greek Cup, and Greek League (“Triple Crown”)
This may have been my best basketball year in terms of my professional career. I finished my overseas season at the beginning of 2010 for Athinaikos, the European team I played for in Athens, Greece. We ended up making history by collecting what they affectionately call the coveted “Triple Crown” title, which no other women’s basketball team had ever done before, and only two Greek men’s teams had done before in history. We won the Greek League, the Greek Cup, and the best one of all was the EuroCup title. We only lost two games the whole season, and subsequently I felt like a Greek goddess when we won all these titles. Leading this great team to victory won me EuroCup player of the year, as well as the dopest reward of all: A feature and article in the Greek version of People magazine. Greece is legit, just ask fellow Stanford basketball alum Josh Childress, who played for Olympiaikos in Athens earlier this year. I got to watch one of Josh’s games live when his team played their arch nemesis Panathinaikos, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Stanford basketball was in full effect in Greece, and after this year they all knew Stanford University.
I also spent time with my Grandmother, and finally got to spend Easter with her for the first time in years. Dope experience. My mom also came and watched my games out there, and she essentially helped get my “swag” back. She’s been watching me since I was horrible (only one season, when I was 6), and has been my loyal No. 1 fan throughout all the years.
My time in Greece lets me know that in 2011, I can always do great things on the basketball court.
10. Tearing my achilles tendon
What?! The second best event of 2010??
I have to first say that I appreciate ALL the love my true fans have shown me throughout 2010. Thank you so much! And I now finally understand how everybody felt when I went down, because I felt the same way, only worse.
However, let me explain why this might be THE GREATEST thing to happen to me this year. Simply put, ALL of these next events on the list would not have happened, had I NOT torn my achilles:
My most famous shoe of the year wasn’t any Nike’s or Cole Haans that I’m usually seen rocking, but in fact The cast. The “Ice Cast.” This super blinged-out cast debuted at the ESPY awards I attended this past July in LA, and transferred onto the boot that I had to wear for the following months. Talk about turning a negative into a positive! I got so many compliments for the boot and coordinated it with so many dope outfits, I honestly had a hard time letting this boot go. Two things I want to thank: the fabric on the cast, picked out and designed by my fabulously artistic cousin Marina, and the ESPYS for stretching my creativity and desire to shine on the red carpet even though I just tore my achilles.
8. Witnessing Stanford Athletics from the sidelines
When I came back to the Stanford Bookstore for the first time in years, I noticed a new slogan that appeared on all the merchandise: Fear the Tree. I dug it immediately. From witnessing Andrew Luck and the football team on their way to the Orange Bowl, to returning to my home in Maples Pavilion and watching the Stanford Women’s Basketball team with our dope and unique fans, I was fortunate enough to have that one of a kind experience that only true Stanford fans have. Plus we have the Stanford Tree and you don’t, which I’ve talked about in the past, when discussing my “tree hugging” ways.
7. Being the “Keynote” Speaker at the Nike Tournament of Champions for high school volleyball
I have competed in the Nike Tournament of Champions for high school basketball for two years in high school (winning the championship of our division one year), and I have been the guest speaker at the basketball tournament a few years ago, but I never thought I’d be back on the stage speaking to volleyball players too.
This was the second year for the volleyball tournament, so huge shout-out to Nike for making an equally dope national tournament for high school volleyball teams. It really means a lot to these girls and it’s evident. Some people may not know this, but I am a huge volleyball lover and player. To be able to speak at this event brought me back to my old days playing, and I began to remember all of the great things I had accomplished, including playing one year at Stanford as part of the 2004 National Championship volleyball team. And the best part? I found out my high school team, La Jolla Country Day, won the whole tournament after I left! (Big deal in the high school volleyball world). 2010 resurrected my passion for volleyball.
6. Writing for SLAM Online
Writing is my true first love, so welcome to Ice in Wonderland.
“In my world, everything would be what it isn’t, and contrary-wise, what it is, it wouldn’t be…“—Alice from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
5. Being on the panel at the 2010 Ivy Sports Symposium
I got to tap into my inner “Ivy League-swag” at the Ivy Sports Symposium at Princeton University this fall, and it was an experience that got me thinking about several questions that I’ve never truly asked myself. Instead of just quietly sitting in on Debate Club meetings at lunch like I did in high school, I was able to be a member of the collegiate sports panel discussing some of the most controversial issues in the college sports world. Do you still think college athletes should/shouldn’t get paid?
4. Meeting Condoleezza Rice
The most tragic thing about missing my graduation in 2008 was the fact that I missed Oprah’s commencement speech. Luckily, this year I got to leave Stanford with personal words from someone who I greatly admire and revere. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also happens to be a Stanford alum who took time out to meet and talk to me about the next chapter in my life. Best of all, she gave me an autographed copy of her book, that is already read as I write this. I highly recommend Extraordinary, Ordinary People, a great family vibe to bring into the new year.
3. Graduating from Leland Stanford Junior University
Earlier at the start of school year, I discussed how Kanye West inspired me to be a college “un-dropout”. Now drawing from his 3rd album Graduation, I have only one thing to say:
“Wait til I get my diploma right, then you can’t tell me nothing right…..
Excuse me, is you sayin’ somethin’? Uh-uh you can’t tell me nothin’!!!“—”Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, remixed by me.
I finally got my degree from Stanford. You can’t tell me nothing.
2. NBA Jam 2010
1. World AIDS Day
Being in America instead of being overseas this year allowed me to participate in my first World AIDS Day, and do so with big impact. Telling my father’s story on a platform of this magnitude also allowed me to finally understand the power and importance of playing basketball with a purpose. As I enter 2011, I do so with a positive outlook on the potential for change.
Happy New Year to everyone!!!!!
My message to you: Expect Great, expect the unexpected, and ALWAYS see the good in any situation, because who knows? It could make your entire year!