Gophers Hold Annual Media Day

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
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Go Gophers! Pam Borton
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The University of Minnesota women's basketball program held its annual Media Day Friday in the Sports Pavilion Media Room, with members of the Twin Cities media (print, radio and television) coming out to get the scoop on the 2012-13 Gophers.  

Head coach Pam Borton and sophomore captain Rachel Banham participated in Media Day Live on Gophersports.com, before holding their press conference in the media room.

Borton and Banham talked about the excitement surrounding the 2012-13 season, how the newcomers will have an immediate impact on the team and the tough schedule the Gophers have lined up for the season.  

Freshmen Jackie Johnson, Shayne Mullaney and Kayla Hirt also sat down for interviews duing the day.

Golden Gopher Special Delivery

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Go Gophers! Season Ticket Delivery
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A handful of lucky season ticket holders were greeted at their doors by members of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team Thursday afternoon, as the Gophers hit the streets to hand-deliver 2012-13 season tickets to some of their most faithful fans.

Go Gophers! Season Ticket Delivery
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

The gesture was well received by the Minnesota supporters, an indication that the season-ticket delivery could become a yearly tradition.

Check out the photo gallery from the home deliveries. Charlie the dog was one of the biggest hits on the day! 

Season tickets are still available for the 2012-13 women's basketball season by calling the University of Minnesota Ticket Office at 612.624.8080 or 1.800.UGOPHER. 

Fans can get a first look at this year's women's basketball squad tomorrow night when they join the Gopher men's basketball team in hosting Gopher All-Star Friday Night at Williams Arena. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with autographs set to begin at 7:30 p.m.  

Go Gophers! MediaDayLive
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BOOKMARK THIS: GOPHER BASKETBALL MEDIA DAY LIVE PAGE

Join Gopher basketball play-by-play voices Mike Grimm (men's) and Corbu Stathes (women's) as they host the second annual "Media Day Live" broadcast on GopherSports.com this Friday, Oct. 12 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Click here to access the live broadcast at 3:30 on Friday.

Mike and Corbu will host a wide variety of guests during the half-hour live broadcast, including head coaches Tubby Smith and Pam Borton, as well as Rodney Williams, Trevor Mbakwe & Andre Hollins from the men's team and Rachel Banham from the women's team.
Go Gophers! MediaDayLive
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Pam Borton will be among the guests at "Media Day Live" Friday on GopherSports.com
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Basketball fans can join in on the action by Tweeting Mike (@MikeGrimm3) and Corbu (@CorbuStathes) questions before the broadcast OR via the live chat feature on our Media Day Live page during the broadcast. Quotes from the broadcast will be live Tweeted from the official accounts of Gopher Basketball, @GopherBBall and @GophersWBB.

Basketball Media Day Live Guest Schedule (times approximate):

3:00 - 3:35: Tubby Smith
3:35 - 3:40: Trevor Mbakwe
3:40 - 3:45: Rodney Williams
3:45 - 3:50: Andre Hollins
3:50 - 4:00: Pam Borton and Rachel Banham

The University of Minnesota men's and women's basketball programs will officially begin the season by hosting "Gopher All-Star Friday Night" on Oct. 12 at Williams Arena. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m.; the entire night's schedule is available by clicking here. The Williams Arena doors will open at 7:00 p.m. in preparation for the evening's first event.

Minnesota Women's Basketball Guide to October

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Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

The month of October is a busy one for the University of Minnesota women's basketball team. From opening the month with their first day of practice to ending it with their first exhibition game, the Gophers' preseason is jam-packed with events and activities. How can fans keep up with all things women's basketball? Here is a Gopher fan guide to October, which will outline all the happenings you should be looking out for!

Printable October Calendar Get Acrobat Reader

Oct. 1 - First Day of Practice: The Gophers started the month off in impressive fashion. Check out the coverage from the team's first official practice here.

Oct. 6 - Team Photo Day: Pam Borton and her squad smile for the cameras as they take their annual team picture. Look for it in the lobby of Williams Arena on game days and log on to Gophersports.com to get a behind-the-scenes look of the day.

Oct. 11 - Season Ticket Delivery: Fans should make sure to stick close to their doors on Thursday, as members of the women's basketball team will be hand-delivering tickets to select 2012-13 season-ticket holders between 4:00-6:00 p.m. Will you be one of the lucky few that is randomly selected?  

Oct. 12 - Media Day: Members of the media gather at The Barn to get insight on the 2012-13 Golden Gophers and attend Coach Borton's press conference. Tune into Gophersports.com as Mike Grimm and Corbu Stathes host Media Day Live from 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Oct. 12 - Homecoming Parade: Once you're done watching Media Day Live, head over to campus to wave at Pam Borton and Tubby Smith as they take part in the Homecoming Parade.

Oct. 12 - Gopher All-Star Friday Night: Make the short walk over to Williams Arena at 7:00 p.m. for Gopher All-Star Friday Night! Serving as the official tip off to the 2012-13 season, Gopher All-Star Friday Night will feature both the men's and women's basketball teams for the first time. Get autographs from your favorite players early in the night, before sitting down to some Gopher basketball action. The Gopher women will be introduced on the court and select players will also be paired up with men's players for a two-ball shooting competition. Once the night's activities come to a close, stick around to get an autograph from Coach Borton and Coach Smith.

Oct. 13 - Open Practice: The Minnesota women's basketball team invites fans to its morning practice which will run from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Sports Pavilion. Complimentary coffee, juice and bagels will be served. Parking will be available on the East Bank in Lot C79 and the East River Road parking garage. In St. Paul, parking is available at the fairgrounds with a complimentary shuttle to campus. | Printable Flyer Get Acrobat Reader

Oct. 25 - Big Ten Media Day: Head coach Pam Borton and select players will make the trip to Chicago for the annual Big Ten Conference Media Day, where they will meet with local, regional and national media members. Check out highlights from last year's B1G Media Day here.

Oct. 29 - Tip-Off Dinner: Join Coach Borton, her staff and fellow Gopher fans at Crave at the Galleria for a four-course meal and great company prior to the start of the season. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner scheduled to be served at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $40 per person and registration is due by Oct. 22. | Printable Flyer Get Acrobat Reader

Oct. 31 - Exhibition vs. Concordia, St. Paul: The 2012-13 Golden Gophers will be in action for the first time when they take on the Golden Bears in a 7:00 p.m. matchup at Williams Arena. Minnesota finished last season with a 19-17 overall record and a 6-10 Big Ten Conference record, while Concordia, St. Paul concluded the year with an 11-17 overall mark and a 8-14 Northern Sun Conference clip. | Complete 2012-13 Schedule.

It's Official! Basketball Season is Finally Here

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After weeks of individual practices and months of anticipation, the University of Minnesota women's basketball team officially opened the 2012-13 season with its first team practice of the year at Williams Arena Monday afternoon.

"It felt great to finally get everyone out on the court together," head coach Pam Borton said. "The team's work ethic was impressive and the players were supportive and encouraging toward one another. We have a very young team this sesason, but I thought that our freshmen did extremely well for their first practice." 

Borton, who is now in her 11th season as the Golden Gophers' head coach, had her squad on the floor beginning at 12 p.m., with her and her coaching staff putting the team through an intense workout of drills and technical work.

"There were a lot of nerves and adrenaline going, but it was a great first day of practice," freshman Shayne Mullaney said. "I have been looking forward to this day for a while, so it was fun for it to actually be here."

Minnesota is only 30 days away from its first exhibition contest vs. Concordia, St. Paul, which is scheduled for Oct. 31 at 7:00 p.m., and only 40 days out from its season and home opener vs. Washington State on Nov. 10 at 12:00 p.m., which is part of the Best Buy Classic.

Fans will have an opportunity to get their first glimpse at the 2012-13 Gophers on Friday, Oct. 12, when they take part in Gopher All-Star Friday Night in conjuntion with the Minnesota men's basketball team. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. for the event, which will be held at Williams Arena.

There is still time to get your season tickets for the year by calling the University of Minnesota Ticket Office at 612.624.8080 or 1.800.UGOPHER.

Jackie Johnson's Summer in Prague

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Between summer classes and working out with her Golden Gopher teammates, freshman Jackie Johnson did not have a lot of free time prior to starting her rookie season on Pam Borton's women's basketball team. But, that didn't stop the 6-foot-1 forward from using that small amount of extra time to play basketball and travel the world with Athletes in Action. GopherSports.com recently sat down with Johnson to learn more about her experience overseas.  

Go Gophers! Jackie Johnson
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Jackie met up with fellow Gopher Alex Ionescu in Prague.
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We heard you had a busy summer playing basketball. Where did you go?
"I was able to play basketball in Prague through Athletes in Action."

For those of us that do not know, what is Athletes in Action?
"Athletes in Action is a Christian organization that builds spiritual movements through the platform of sport. You have the opportunity to go to a different country, share the Gospel and use your sport to show who God is. There are five principles they teach you on how to play for God and not for yourself or other people."

Who played on the team with you?
"I went with women from all over the United States. Most of them had already graduated and played basketball in college. I was the youngest person on our trip. Most of the players were anywhere from 21-25, and then there was me who was 18 at the time. There were players from Northern Kentucky, Aiken in South Carolina and Green Bay, so there we players from bigger schools and smaller schools."

Was it fun getting to know your teammates?
"Yes, but I connected with some of the players more than others. One of the women, Karen, is on staff at Colorado State. She was the oldest player on the trip, but I bonded with her a ton because we had a lot of the same interests."

What was your typical day like while you were there?
"We played five different teams in seven days. In the morning our coach would have a joint practice so the other team could see how an American practice is run. We would then play that same team later in the afternoon. Sometimes we would only practice or only play a game. Afterward, we would go hang out with the team and get to know them.

"Overall, the trip was very demanding. We walked everywhere. We stayed in a hostel, so we would walk from our hostel to get on the train, then get off the train and walk to the gym. You had to carry your backpack with everything possible in it. It felt like I was climbing a mountain half the time. It was definitely an experience, but I liked it."

 Why was your team selected to go to Prague?
"The main reason we went to Prague was because the country is about 85 percent or 90 percent Atheist, or known as Atheist. Most of the people know that there maybe is some God out there, they just choose not to believe that or they don't want to know about it. They say it's partially from when there was Communism in the Czech when the country was part of Czechoslovakia. They say that suppressed the country and left it as it is now, but it is getting better. They have an actual Athletes in Action team in Czech, and that is who set everything up for us."

How did you get involved with Athletes in Action?
A Pastor at my Church knew a lot about it, so he had mentioned it to both Shayne (Mullaney) and me. Shayne's older sister, Kelly Jo, went to the Czech Republic last year, so we also knew a lot about it from her. One of the coaches from Hopkins High School goes to my Church and said that he would coach our team, so he and my pastor talked to me about it and I was totally up for it."

Go Gophers! Jackie Johnson
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

What was your favorite part of the trip?
"Obviously, playing basketball and getting to share God's word was one of the best parts, but being able to do it in a foreign country was amazing. I also loved seeing and touring Prague because it is so beautiful. I have never seen anything like that before. There is so much old architecture. The buildings are like 600 years old and there are giant Churches. I also love that they still have cobblestone roads. Minneapolis is nice, but it's not the same. We don't have a castle (laughing)."

Is it something you would like to do again?
"I would love to do it again. Probably not going back to Prague, just because that's somewhere I've already been. I would love to do different ones just because I love traveling, I love Jesus and I love basketball."

A Day in the Life of Rachel Banham

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The life of a Division I student-athlete is anything but easy. Between workouts, class, practice, media obligations, video and photo shoots, training table and studying, members of the University of Minnesota women's basketball team carry a full load. But, it is not all work and no play for the Golden Gophers, as they also find time to have fun on and off of the court with each other.

Sophomore Rachel Banham takes Gopher fans along for a busy day in her life, where she wakes up early for class, does an interview, participates in the 2012-13 season intro video shoot, works out, eats and studies.

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, right? Enjoy!  

Behind the Scenes: Video and Photo Shoot

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Have you ever wondered what really goes on behind the scenes of the Gophers' video and photo shoots? Gophersports.com is here to give you an all-access pass as the Minnesota women's basketball team gears up for the 2012-13 season.

Watch the video above and check out the photo gallery to get an inside look at many of the elements that will be featured on the new scoreboard and ribbon boards at Williams Arena, as well as some of the photos that will be used for this year's poster.

Also included is footage from the players "Doing the Gopher", a segement that is aired during the third-quarter break at every home football game. Did you see it played during Saturday night's win vs. Syracuse?  

Scoreboard Video Shoot Sneak Peek

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It was a fun-filled day of smiling, posing, dancing and humming when the  Minnesota women's basketball team took over Williams Arena for their video shoot Wednesday afternoon. The Gophers shot clips for their intro video that will be played prior to each game and also shot videos that will play on the new LED scoreboard in The Barn on game days.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the behind-the-scenes action from the day, with more to come following head coach Pam Borton's video shoot set to take place on Monday afternoon. Can you guess what song Leah Cotton and Sari Noga are humming?

I can't wait to view the finished products on that gorgeous scoreboard when the Gophers open the season!

Don't forget that you can buy season tickets and single-game tickets for the 2012-13 season on mygophersports.com so you can see the videos as well.    

Single-Game Tickets Available Sept. 19

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Go Gophers! Goldy at Williams Arena
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Single-game tickets for the 2012-13 University of Minnesota women's basketball season are set to go on sale Sept. 19 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Golden Gopher Ticket Office at 612-624-8080 or online at mygophersports.com.

Ticket prices for each game will be $15 for chair back seats and $8 for bleacher seats.

The Gophers are scheduled to play 18 games at Williams Arena this season, including contests against Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Denver, Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue and Penn State. Minnesota will also host a pair of tournaments in the Best Buy Class and the Subway Classic in early November.

Fans will also be able to get a glimpse of Williams Arena's new center-hung LED scoreboard and LED fascia boards, and will be able to take in the sounds of The Barn's new sound system when the season gets underway.