March 19, 2005
By Kendall Johnson
Media Relations Student Assistant
The Santa Clara Broncos have made it to the ultimate destination in college basketball. Every team in the country strives to be where the Broncos and 63 other teams are right now: playing in the NCAA Championship. The players say that it's an honor to be here, playing with some of the best teams in women's basketball. It is undoubtedly an honor, but it's an honor the Broncos have earned.
The players are thrilled with the opportunity. Fresno's gorgeous Save Mart Center facility contributes to the excitement. In the locker room between practices, the players show their excitement. They play cards, listen to music and joke with each other. They are a cohesive group, an important factor in their success on the court. The excited energy is channeled into focus on the court, however, when it comes time to play again.
The Broncos are relaxed yet determined in practice. A high level of enthusiasm was present through Friday's entire practice. They have prepared all season for a game like this. Running through everything one last time, the Broncos show their seriousness about this game. They are here to prove that they deserve to be here with the best teams in the nation and are eager for their first challenge.
The team ends its evening open practice with a shooting competition. Each player hits one three-pointer after another, making it look effortless. The competition is light-hearted, yet it provides an opportunity for the Broncos to show off what they do better than any team in the nation: shoot the three.
As head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson told the team, when they come to play, these girls are a dangerous group. The accuracy with which they drain three-pointers makes them a threat to even the best team in the country. The Broncos have shown that they can take down any opponent. So much preparation has gone into this event, yet in the end, the season comes down to 40 minutes on the court with arguably the best team in the nation. The Broncos are ready for the challenge.