Monday, November 23, 2009

Hardwork & Preparation...

Hey everyone!

Last week we lost to Mersin and bounced back strong earning a win against Ceyhan this weekend.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”

During those six long practice days the team made adjustments to prepare for Ceyhan. Unlike past weeks, this particular week we took a day to review Ceyhan’s plays and how we would guard them. Preparation and hardwork are keys to success. Our preparation and hardwork payed off this week. Winning was the only thing on our minds. We came out the gates powerful and never looked back. We pushed the lead to 20 in the second quarter but Ceyhan would not fall. They made a great fight back cutting the lead to about 4. After halftime we continued to throw punches that connected and Ceyhan began to tumble. The final score was 84-62.

On a side note right before the third quarter began the power went out in the gym. The weather was nice outside, no rain or thunderstorms were the reason to cause the interruption. While the power was getting fixed both teams were shooting to stay warm. Eventually the power turned back on and the lights came back on. Each team went back to their benches thinking the second half will start. Nope, not at all. The power cut off again!! It took another ten minutes for everything to work properly for our game to continue. Only in Turkey!!

Today we are back at work to continue our win streak vs Instanbul University on Saturday. A twin of one of my teammates, Roneeka Hodges, plays for Instanbul University. I’m excited to see them go head to head. It will be fun to watch but even more fun to continue our win streak! Wish us luck! Hooah!!!

Until next week…..K4K

Monday, November 16, 2009

Long Week Ahead..

Hey Hey Hey!

Sorry to start you guys with bad news, but we lost this past weekend to Mersin. It was a tough game but unfortunately we couldn’t pull it out. We were down most of the first half - managing to make a run in the second quarter and tie the game up going into halftime. The second half Mersin was just too much for us and kept a double digit lead for pretty much the remainder of the game. We have a whole week until we can redeem ourselves on Sunday vs Ceyhan. That’s one of the disadvantages of playing one game a week. When you lose you’re ready to take anybody out to get back on that win streak. Instead of playing again soon, I’m on a six day wait list. On a good note practice, practice, practice makes better right?!

Sunday was an off day for the team so Chante and I decided to get away from Tarsus and hangout with Barbara and some of her teammates in Mersin (25 minute drive) after the game. Sunday we traveled to Adana (25 minute drive) to watch two teams in our league. I wish there was more time to get out and about, because it helps time move swiftly.

Since I started with bad news I’m going to end with great news. The Ketia4Kidz 2nd Annual Hometown Fundraiser on December 29th is getting closer and closer. Rap artist 3D will be making an appearance - shout out to FAM! Big things and a great future is all in store for the foundation so please stay tuned!

Until next week…..K4K

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day Mom & Dad!

Hey Mom & Dad!!

I just wanted to wish you both a very Happy Happy Veteran's Day!! You two are my heroes! I think there should be more than one day to honor you all. People don't understand what you all have gone through. You guys should feel like heroes; the way you've served your country and worked hard to protect people's loved ones. May God bless you all!

I wish there were more people with hearts and backbones as strong as you guys. Much love from Tarsus Turkey. See you in 6 weeks!! Take this day out for yourselves and do something special - you guys deserve it!



Monday, November 9, 2009

News From Turkey!

First, let me start by saying that the new K4K website has finally launched with a new look, upgraded features for people to know what’s happening in my life, and updates for upcoming K4K news and events. I hope you all love the new website as much as I do! Email me at for feedback……

Since winning the WNBA championship, I’ve been in Turkey. It’s been almost three weeks now, but I’m learning my way around. I play for a club out of Tarsus, Turkey with Americans Roneeka Hodges (Minnesota Lynx) and Chante Black (Connecticut Sun). The weather here is amazing. If I closed my eyes outside I almost thought I was back in Phoenix. ALMOST.  I live in a building with all of my teammates except for one. A dorm would be the best comparison of our living conditions except each room has their own bathrooms and living areas. In some ways it’s cool, because we all can hang out and learn more about each other.

As for the team, we are 2-1 recording our last win on Friday. After losing our first game, we’ve gotten things back on track with 2 good wins. It’s different from the WNBA, but I’m working hard to get better for next season. We have this weekend off and go back to work Monday afternoon. My roommate Chante and I have just been hanging out enjoying this time to ourselves. We play Mersin next Saturday against one of my former college and professional teammates, Barbara Turner. It will be the first time ever we will be enemies on the court. Stay tuned next week for the results and how life in Turkey is going…

You can keep up more with me on Facebook (Ketia Swanier) and Twitter (@MarieGAPeach11)!

Until next week… K4K

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Slam Magazine: Commemorating Altruism

Commemorating Altruism
For the WNBA, community is key.

by Ben York

Unarguably, the WNBA and its players set the quintessential standard in terms of professional athletes genuinely having a noble penchant to improve the lives of the less fortunate.

It’s not even debatable.

Now, before I get hate mail from devout fans of other professional leagues, let me state that I respect and admire those athletes who do make a profound effort and emphasis on giving back. But if we’re honest with ourselves, collectively it’s certainly not close to what could be done with the amount of money that floats around the “big 4” – NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL.

That’s why the WNBA gets the crown; they do more with less.

It’s no secret that WNBA players’ salaries are considerably less than other professional athletes; much less. The salary cap for WNBA teams in 2009 was $803,000. For comparisons sake, Kevin Garnett made about $300,000 a game for the Celtics in ’08-09 (about $25 million for the entire year). Thus, Garnett made more money in three games than the combined salaries of any WNBA team (11 players) for the entire 2009 season. This isn’t a knock on Garnett, not by any means (he does a lot in the community with his Foundation); it’s merely an illustration of the disparity in pay between the WNBA and NBA.

In spite of this, the vast majority of WNBA players continually make an unwavering priority to give back to the community; not because their absurd salaries forced them to or for tax benefits, but because they each have an indelible zeal for improving the world around them and because it’s the right thing to do.

If you’re thinking that I’m questioning the authenticity of some professional athletes in terms of their Foundations and personal focus on improving the community, well, you’d be correct. In fact, I very much question the genuineness of many athletes when they make an appearance at a Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters ,etc. and this comes from a first-hand perspective. I’ve worked for many years in both the non-profit world and the sports world and have been around a multitude of professional athletes and celebrities who unquestionably were forced to make an appearance somewhere or write a check with the sole purpose of enhancing their public image. And while, ultimately, the organizations still get funding and exposure, there simply is a different feeling and impact that is created when it comes from a sincere place. The fact remains, however, that we undoubtedly hear more about those events than any of the countless accomplishments in the community by WNBA athletes.

I, for one, think it’s about time we recognize, acknowledge, and honor what is being done in the community by WNBA players and the WNBA Cares program. WNBA Cares focuses on programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, breast health awareness, youth and family development, and education as well as team-sponsored community events. There are a countless number of players and team representatives that have volunteered their time and money for these special community events.

However, here are descriptions of several of the more notable non-profit organizations that have been developed by individual WNBA players. I encourage you to browse their Foundation’s website and get involved!

Kudos to the tireless efforts of these women.

Temeka Johnson, H.O.P.E. (Heaven Opens People’s Eyes)

Meek’s HOPE is active in the community in a number of ways and has made a key decision to help underprivileged children find hope and better their lives. She offers the Jewel Johnson Teacher Scholarship, in honor of her grandmother, to deserving students from Louisiana or attending Louisiana institutions. In addition, Meek’s HOPE has adopted schools to help with projects, mentoring, and fundraising. HOPE also sponsors area youth to receive personal hygiene makeovers for girls and boys, works with local schools and agencies to identify organizational needs, and hosts “A Very Meek Christmas” for local youth where HOPE and Temeka take them on a Christmas shopping spree.

Ketia Swanier – Ketia4Kidz

Ketia4Kidz provides support to the children of deployed and severely injured active duty military service members of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It also provides enrichment activities and tutoring to children while their parent(s) are away in service.

Tamika Catchings – Catch the Stars

Tamika’s mission is to motivate at-risk youth in the Indianapolis area to achieve their dreams and goals by providing positive academic and sports related programs. Largely centered on academics, the foundation also focuses on sportsmanship, healthier lifestyles, mentoring, and basketball/fitness clinics.

Swin Cash – Cash for Kids

Swin developed the Cash for Kids program to assist youth agencies and schools both inside and outside of the classroom in the areas of Arts & Culture, Youth Development, and Athletics.

Candice Wiggins – The Candice Wiggins Foundation Fund

The Candice Wiggins Foundation Fund honors the legacy of Alan Wiggins in its dedication to growing awareness, dialogue and funds to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Ruth Riley – NothingButNets

Ruth is a major player in this movement. Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Ruth has also been awarded the WNBA Community Assist Award for her dedication to community outreach initiatives related to youth health and wellness - particularly in her work for Nothing But Nets.

Betty Lennox – The Lennox Foundation 22

Betty Lennox’s Foundation centers around supporting kids in all communities that battle with the horrors of neglect and abuse. The money raised by The Lennox Foundation 22 will assist different shelters and homes to enrich their programs and educational needs for their communities.

Tamika Raymond – Thames River Family Programs, NothingButNets

Tamika worked with the Thames River Family Programs (TRFP), a transitional home for women and their children. In addition to her work with TRFP, Tamika was a regular participant and avid supporter of WNBA Cares events and causes, including Nothing But Nets and several visits to local schools, youth organizations, and fan events during the year.

Dawn Staley – Dawn Staley Foundation

The foundation’s mission is to create a future of hope for at-risk youth by providing opportunities that help them realize their dreams and become productive and responsible citizens. The creation and support of educational and sports programs which challenge minds, build character, and help youth to develop to their fullest potential academically, socially and physically are the essence of the foundation.