The first year in the Mountain West Conference was a success. The team won over 20 games. They lost in the finals of their conference tournament on a last second shot. If they had won they would have made the NCAA tournament. Instead they had to settle for the NIT. It was a crushing loss that sucked the life out of my husband for a few days. I think it did the same to the head coach because he told his assistants to start looking for other jobs because he wasn’t sure how many more years he could coach.
It was also a year of life altering experiences. Things you remember exactly where you were when it happened. September 11th, 2001 – four months after we moved to Las Vegas. We got a telephone call from one of the other assistant coaches. He was supposed to be flying out of Las Vegas for a recruiting trip. “We are being attacked. The United States is being attacked.” This is the one time I regretted the time difference. There is a three hour difference so we were sleeping while the whole thing played out. I wanted to be up watching the morning news when the program was interrupted for “breaking news.” I wanted to be one of millions of viewers hoping it was just a small commuter plane that hit the World Trade Center when I watched in horror as the second plane hit. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted to share the terror and uncertainty with the rest of the country. I wanted that bond. I felt such a disconnect with the rest of the country that while the worst tragedy on America soil was happening I was sleeping. By the time we received the news, the World Trade Centers had collapsed, the Pentagon was hit, and a plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania. So to watch it on TV was like watching a movie. It wasn’t like the rest of the country who was living through the uncertainty as it happened – we already knew the ending. A lot of times it feels like it happened in a different country because we lived so far away. I felt drawn there. I don’t know if it was my nursing instincts or what but I just wanted to be there – to help. With 2 small children and 7 months pregnant I knew it was impossible so I went to Church and prayed for all those people who were living a nightmare. I will never forget the silence of the sky those first few days after 9/11. From our house you could see the multitude of planes flying in and out of Vegas daily. To say it is a busy airport is an understatement. There was a very eerie feeling when the skies went quiet. It is weird how sometimes you don’t notice things until they are gone. I knew then that life as we knew it had changed.