DENVER - Day Three of Stanford women's basketball's Final Four trip to Denver is in the books, as the Cardinal spent Saturday meeting with the media, engaging fans and putting on a public practice at the Pepsi Center.
Following a big Friday night in which it attended the Welcome Banquet and got some time to check out the 16th Street Mall, the Cardinal got a chance to rest up Saturday morning before a late breakfast.
The team packed up and boarded the bus for the Pepsi Center at 12:30 p.m. to watch Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike be honored as part of the 2012 WBCA Coaches' All-America Team.
Nneka was also honored as the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner, then was given the honor of addressing the crowd on behalf of the All-America Team. In a quick, classy speech, she thanked the WBCA, the committee, the Final Four volunteers and reserved biggest thanks for the fans for all of their support for the game.
A 30-minute autograph session followed at the Pepsi Center, as the team signed posters for fans and engaged with some of its most ardent supporters. Once the session ended, the Cardinal headed back into the locker room, preparing for its open practice and first chance to step onto the Pepsi Center court.
The Cardinal put in an hour's worth of layup drills, shooting games, and crisp passing as "Nerd City Kids" blared over the speakers. With five minutes to go in the practice session, the "Nerd City Kids" video was played on the arena's video board to immense cheers from the fans in attendance.
Then it was time to meet the media. The Ogwumikes, Toni Kokenis and head coach Tara VanDerveer were escorted to the dais to field questions from the assembled media, while the rest of the team stayed in the locker room to answer questions and speak with media members coming by the open session.
With the 30-minute media window finished, it was time for a two-hour closed practice on the second level of the arena, in the practice facility of the NBA's Denver Nuggets. With the national semifinal against Baylor just over 24 hours away, it was time to get to work.