Nike Nationals Begins, Teams Looking Forward To End

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Monday, July 28, 2008.

Traveling across the country playing basketball is a dream come true for the players and their coaches. But doing it for an entire month can be a bit tiring.

"We went to Texas and then to Birmingham. Then, to Chicago and then New Orleans and now here and this is our last tournament," said GA-Lina head coach Reggie Wilson. "It's been a grind in July and I'm kind of glad it's coming to an end."

That's because this week's Nike Nationals represents the end of the season for most teams, including the GA-Lina 76ers. The team is based out of Columbia and being close to home feels good right now.

"It is nice to be kind of close to home and now we have 3 days left before we finally can go home, said GA-Lina guard Kamiko Williams. "In a way, I'm kind of sad but in a way, I'm kind of happy because I don't have to go though this anymore."

Not all teams are as close to home. The California Swish are more than 2000 miles away but these ladies have the right attitude.

"When you come to these tournaments, it's literally eat, breathe and sleep basketball so you just get used to it," said California Swish forward Christina Marinacci. "But it's fun. I love basketball."

With possibly 8 games to play in 4 days this week, getting through this stretch of games takes more than jjust being in good shape

"Ever since the 1st of July, we've been on the road non-stop. It is tough," said Williams. "You have to be mentally strong more than physicaly strong. You have to tell your body you're going to do this and that. Being mentally tough is the key to playing this many games this long."

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