It is with the utmost excitement that I can officially say: I, Sarah Goswick, a 6’1 guard originally from Durham, North Carolina… am returning for my sophomore season at K Academy.
For those of you who have ever wondered what it is like to attend this literal fantasy camp, or even for those of you who have also been lucky enough to don the K Academy Alumni status but just want to re-hash it all through new eyes, please feel free to read what I wrote shortly after my first season last June: This is Life in Color.
Having set aside the likely 2+ hours you just did to read that, you now know what I mean when I say: UTMOST EXCITEMENT. Last year was a walking, talking, living and breathing dream. But here’s what I didn’t know when I sat down and wrote that piece back on June 8, 2018: K Academy is not just a 5 day experience; it’s the start (or the continuation) of a branch of a family tree.
K Academy 2018 ended on June 3, 2018. My experience had come to an end. Only- my branch of the K Academy family tree had just put down roots. What I didn’t know when writing that blog post on June 8, 2018- what I couldn’t possibly have known- was that K Academy was going to follow me into the summer, through the fall, into the holiday season, right past the New Year, deep into the heart of the basketball season, through the trials of March Madness and right back to where it all started: K Academy time.
And I’m not talking about it following me in my memories or in the way that I talked about it every single chance I got… well, I’m not only talking about it in that way. No, no.
I’m talking about how I got a text from my K Academy Coach, Cherokee Parks, on June 21,
I’m talking about how I got together in November with David Linn, Frank
I’m talking about how I met up with Keith Fournier and Jason Umlah before we headed over to MSG to watch DUKE battle Texas Tech in December- and then Keith staying over the night in NJ at our house and setting off our alarm system at 5AM when he got up to head out for the airport (that wasn’t at all panic-inducing).
I’m talking about how I played pick-up on New Year’s Eve in midtown with Dan Sutera, Ward Horton, Randy Chen, Matt Koch, Zeb Pirzada, David Zenon, Jordan Karen
I’m talking about texting Chip Engelland in January to tell him I’m thinking of going to see the Spurs play the Nets at Barclays the following month and getting the response of “I got you for that game, remember?” (So, I’m obviously talking about going to that game and the best part of it all being getting to hang out with Chip after it ended.)
I’m talking about going back home to NC for a week in February to visit family/friends and take in the DUKE games vs. State and Carolina and making it my first and foremost mission to spend a day with Matt Cantando and his awesome family who I, frankly, hope one day will adopt me.
And I’m talking about every moment between those- the ones that don’t necessarily make it to the social media pages but are just as, if not more so, important to the forming and strengthening of my newfound family tree. The emails, the texts, the messages, the calls of people just checking in simply to check in and let you know: “hey, I’m here, saying hi and seeing how you are!” Shouts to Ann Merin, Jennifer Lang and Amy Cantando for being A++++ on that.
What I’m trying to get at is: K Academy is a family. And family doesn’t have an off-season. You’re a K Academy camper for 5 days; but you’re a K Academy family member for life. Talk to anyone who has ever attended… they all describe it as such: family. As Rachel Curtis once put it to me: “The friendships and bonds formed during the K Academy are meant to last a lifetime- not just while you are a camper. You are now one of us for life (even on the days when you may not want to have us- haha)!” I guess I sort-of knew that going in, but I didn’t really know it until it ended. In life, lots of people say lots of things and a select few actually live up to it. Family. K Academy says that for a reason: they mean it.
I say all of that to say: K Academy is 22 days away. Last year at this time, when we were a mere 22 days out, and as a rookie, all I could think about was: DUKE, Cameron, basketball, Coach K, former and current players, Washington Duke Inn, Durham, socials and swag.
This year, as a returner, yeah, I still think about those things. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t having trouble sleeping just thinking about those things being so close again. But, I’ll tell you another truth: I think about all of those things second now. First and foremost… and the reason I really can’t wait to get back: I think about my K Academy family.
So get ready for a sophomore season for the ages, everyone.
Because: I’m back.