Marissa Janning Blog #4: Holiday update

Photo courtesy of Steve Branscombe (Janning is second from right)

I hope all of you had a fantastic holiday and that you were able to spend some time with loved ones. I had a great Christmas and got to go home to Minnesota for three days and see my friends and family!

I made it home on the 23rd in time to see some friends from high school. Christmas Eve is always our big day. My uncle, my sister, her husband, and my three nephews came over and spent the day with us.

Watching the boys open their gifts is really fun because little kids always look excited. My oldest nephew is 3 years old, and when we asked him what he asked Santa for he said: “I want a green flatbed truck with no trailer and no hook,” —pretty demanding and clever for a three-year-old. Christmas Day was spent with my parents watching Christmas movies and hanging out at home. I left Minnesota on the 26th earlier in the morning than I would have liked, but I was excited to get back and see my teammates and continue rehab to get back on the court!

Since my last blog, we had two games before the break. We played University of Nebraska-Omaha on December 20th, and University of Northern Iowa on the 22nd. We won both games, and are starting to really get going and get used to playing without Brianna (Bri) Rollerson (broken foot), and me. It’s great to see my teammates stay positive and get better each day, despite the obstacles we have encountered so far this season. These games left us going into conference with some momentum.

Conference play is probably my favorite part of the season, besides postseason. On Tuesday, we played St. John’s, but we fell short to the Red Storm, 66–55. I was again reminded of how much I miss playing as my usual guarding assignment was obviously not assigned to me. I usually guard Aliyyah Hanford, one of the most explosive girls I’ve ever played against, along with a deadly jumper. She is such a challenge to defend, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time because those are the opportunities I work hard for as a player. I found myself pretty emotional during this game and imagining what would happen if I went and threw on my uniform and tried to play. I did, however, find more of a voice this game. I feel confident about owning the situation I am in now, and helping more from the end of the bench.

We had a daylong break before the Seton Hall game on Thursday. I met with Coach Flan that afternoon to talk about all of my options. My bone still is not fully healed yet, but I will have an X-ray done in a week or so. No decisions were made at this point, but it got me a little more motivated. I am walking without pain most of the time and have been able to run and shoot a little bit on the side during practice. With that, I decided to jump in a shooting drill with the guards. So far so good. Once everyone went to film, I asked Chevelle Herring, one of our assistant coaches, to try out an individual workout with me. We did a few shots off screens, ball handling into different mid-range shots, and different footwork into threes. This went pretty well, but I was still experiencing pain. It was such a great feeling to get out on the court again, even if I am still pretty limited to what I am able to do.

We lost on Thursday to Seton Hall 86–82. Midway through the second quarter, we were down by 23 points, but I could not be happier or more proud of the girls for fighting all the way back. There was never a point in the game where we gave up, which was awesome to see. Seton Hall is a really athletic team, and they have guards that are tough to guard. This was another match-up I was sad to sit out from. Had we not had such a slow start, the game might have ended differently. Our upcoming games include at Georgetown on January 3rd (Creighton lost 69–57), and at Villanova on January 5th. I’m excited to kick off the New Year with my team on the road. Despite losing the first three conference games, I am pretty confident about what is yet to come!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year!! Go Jays!