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Shades of Winter: Gauchos star takes us back to hectic July

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In this special diary, South Shore forward Jenice Winter brings us back to an eventful July live recruiting period when her Gauchos team played in some of the biggest tournaments in the country. Look for Winter’s regular diary this coming girls basketball season.

Hello, my name is Jenice Winter and I’m a rising senior at South Shore High School. I just finished playing with the New York Gauchos this summer, my second one under the Gauchos organization.

This summer we attended some big tournaments in Orlando, Tennessee, New Orleans and South Carolina. Our biggest tournament was Nike Nationals in Augusta, S.C. Some of our strongest opponents this summer were Nike elite teams such as DFW, who has the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2012, Moriah Jefferson, and also at least three other girls ranked in the top 100. Tennessee Flight had players ranked in the top 100 and so did Essence, GSB and the Philadelphia Belles, who had the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2012, Breanna Stewart.

At our games, there were like a million college coaches. From the entrance to the gym to the exit, especially when we played GSB in Tennessee, it was packed. Every conference was there – you name it.

Even though we had a tough schedule, we still managed to have a lot of funny moments this summer. For example, our last day in Orlando we had the day off so we decided to hang out and chill. In our hotel, there was a game room, which contained a miniature golf course, a basketball court where we played knockout, Nintendo Wii, a ping pong table, and a lot of board games. Me and couple of the coaches were playing an intense game of Monopoly that lasted for 3 hours. Also we played boxing on the Wii and I went undefeated. Other fun moments from this summer was our bus ride to Tennessee when we were cracking jokes on each other.

One of my most favorite memories of this summer that I will never forget was when we were in New Orleans and we got to go sight-seeing in areas where Hurricane Katrina had hit. We were all so shocked to see the damage that the hurricane had done. We spoke to this elderly woman that was on the street while we were passing that was there during the hurricane. She told us stories and showed us pictures of the condition New Orleans was in when the water came. We ended up winning that Basketball on the Bayou tournament in New Orleans.

Before the summer started I had committed to VCU. I committed because what they were offering me was something I just couldn’t pass up and the chemistry between me and the coaches on the visit just clicked. Another reason for my commitment was that every player that attends VCU, their game has developed from when they first arrived. Also, the facility was amazing. Words can’t explain. I’m very excited and I looking forward to my years in that VCU uniform.

But before I do that I have goals and accomplishments that I have to take care of at South Shore. I’m very excited for this upcoming season. I know I am going to be one of the leaders of the team this year and I’m expecting that challenge with open arms. Myself and the other seniors realize that this is our last chance at that championship and God knows that means the world to us. I feel good going into this upcoming season because I know the pieces that we have and that we just added could do amazing things when we come together.

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