Players on the court

Preparing Citizens:Capturing Success

We set out to document a day in the life of the Stanford Women’s Basketball team. (We ended up capturing life with Coach Tara VanDerveer, too.)

Photos by Jess Alvarenga

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If you want to make it as a Stanford student-athlete, you have to work both sides of that all-important hyphen, putting in the hours as both student and athlete.

To see what that really looks like, we spent a day with the team—and, without knowing it at the time, got a glimpse of Coach Tara VanDerveer’s final season. Long before you see the team on the court, they go to class. And morning drills. And the training room. And somehow, they fit in team dinner and some dancing before it’s finally game on.

A little past 9 a.m.

Tara VanDerveer speaks to the team in the training room.

Coach Tara VanDerveer gets down to business, reviewing game day strategy before morning practice. At the time, VanDerveer was the Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball.

The team sits in chairs watching game tape.

The team preps for tonight’s competition.

9:45 a.m.

The team on the practice court.
By 9:45 a.m., the team is on the court practicing.
Players on the practice court.

Hannah Jump, ’23, MA ’24, holds a defensive position.

Players on the practice court.

Lauren Green, ’26, drills layups.

Coaches pass balls with players.

Assistant coaches Tempie Brown and Kate Paye, ’95, MBA ’03, JD ’03, feed passes to players. Paye has since succeeded VanDerveer as the Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball, and Brown is now the Harry K. and Ida S. Berland Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach.

A closeup of Nunu holding a basketball with orange fingernails.

Nunu Agara, ’27, nails the color scheme.

Kiki goes up for a layup.

Kiki Iriafen, ’24, delivers.

Tara and players high five.

The power of the low five.

Three players look at a phone laughing.

Practice may be over, but Courtney Ogden, ’27, is just getting started.

12:30 p.m.

Two players bike across campus.

Lauren Green, ’26, and Elena Bosgana, ’24, face the morning commute.

Elena and Lauren hug and smile.

Teammates on the court, teammates on the Quad.

Candid photos of players and coaches throughout the day.

When they aren’t shooting baskets, Kiki Iriafen, ’24, and Nunu Agara, ’27, shoot film.

3 p.m.

A lunch plate filled with pasta and bread.

It’s carb-loading time.

Players sit around a table eating lunch.

Pre-game meal at the iconic Jimmy V’s cafe.

5:10 p.m.

Players stretch with a trainer.

Pre-game warmup begins with dynamic stretches in the training room.

A trainer helps a player stretch her leg.

Associate Olympic Sports Performance Coach Andrea Hayden checks on Talana Lepolo, ’25.

Players in the training room getting taped.

Athletic trainer Katelin Knox tapes up all the players.

A player laughs while stretching.

Who says stretching is boring?

Chloe Clardy, ’27, Courtney Ogden, ’27, and Nunu Agara, ’27, record a TikTok, no doubt viral.

Stavi sits on the group juggling three tennis balls.

Like all of her teammates, Stavi Papadaki, ’25, juggles athletics and academics.

Elena falls back in a big laugh.

Junior Elena Bosgana, ’24, jokes about how shy she was in her first year at Stanford.

Talana Lepolo sits strong now to stand strong later.

Talana Lepolo, ’25, sits strong now to stand strong later.

Two players hug in the training room.

Moments like these are part of the preparation.

7 p.m.

Stanford students sitting in a row of a classroom
It’s game time at Maples Pavilion!
Five players stand together courtside.

The starters take a minute off court. (Cameron Brink, ’24, would typically be among them, but she’s out sick for tonight’s game.)

Team huddle on the court.

Team huddle.

The game begins.

Tip-off!

Cheerleaders watch the game.

Time to make some noise!

A cheerleader jumps in the splits.

The energy in Maples Pavilion is palpable.

Coach talks to players courtside.

With the clock ticking and the score close, Coach VanDerveer talks defensive strategy.

Players on the bench jump and cheer.

A clutch basket brings the team off the bench.

A players at the edge of the court takes a shot.

She shoots . . .

The ball goes through the hoop.

. . . She scores! three-pointers all night by Brooke Demetre, ’24.

Onto another day . . .

Stanford Athletics: The impact

Why it matters

Athletics are an inseparable part of Stanford’s identity. The combination of athletic and academic achievement is part of a culture of excellence that lifts up all Stanford students.

The opportunity

Stanford is renewing its commitment to every sport and every student-athlete, navigating the changing landscape of college sports while staying true to our values.

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Go deeper on stanford athletics

Stanford is determined to give our student-athletes everything they need to pursue excellence at the very highest level.

Read the case statement open PDF

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