I was escorted to the practice court when I arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Maggie Lucas was first to join me, and we quickly got reacquainted. She grew up in Narberth, a suburb of Philadelphia, and played a key role on the basketball team at Penn State University. Her list of accolades is long and impressive.
Her minutes per game and scoring average have increased nicely from her first to second year with the Fever. Last year after the team’s season was finished, she played in France. I asked if those were her plans this year, but she is returning to Pennsylvania to rest and spend time with her family. She plans to return to the game after the first of the year.
I have noticed that she has become one of the fan favorites. Her high-arching 3-point shots are amazing to watch. I pointed out to her that the fans really get excited when she enters the game. For that comment I was rewarded with a million dollar smile and a humble thank you.
I also visited with Jeanette Pohlen. I quickly learned that we had something in common. She lived in Southern California and attended high school at Brea Olinda. She attended Stanford and appeared in four straight NCAA Final Fours. I lived in Orange County, also in Southern California, for a couple of years.
Jeanette was picked in the first round of the 2011 draft and has been with the Fever since. She experienced some injuries and was out for all of the 2014 season. It is wonderful that she feels great now and is back to helping the team.
I enjoy watching a player grow, improve and in some cases recover from injuries to help and support the team. My wife, Lyn, and I enjoy our season tickets. Since our seats are near the team, it’s cool to watch how the players on the bench study the game and support their teammates on the court.
Our seats are surrounded by many season ticket holders, and some of us have become friends. We have also gotten to know several of the fieldhouse staff that is assigned to our area. It’s fun to watch coach Steffanie White interact with some of the fans before and after the games.
One member of the security staff assigned to our area reminds me of Abraham Lincoln. When I glance down in his direction I often feel the desire to start mumbling to myself the start of the following speech: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
It is much easier to follow the game when he returns to his assigned post at the other end of the court.
Thank you No. 8 and 32. I enjoyed talking with both of you.