A lesson in patience

Updated: Dec. 29, 2016 at 4:18 PM MST
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Tucson, AZ - After going 9-2 in her first non conference schedule as a college head coach, Adia Barnes was asked what she had learned about herself through the first 11 games. Barnes said one word. Patience.

Tuesday's win over Portland State provided a perfect example. Taryn Griffey, who hadn't played in a game since December 4th, entered the contest with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. Her first two shots were tough misses. Wide left and wide right. Instead of pulling her, Barnes decided otherwise to let Griffey ride it out, remain in the game, and find her rhythm. It worked. By game's end, Griffey had 6 points and two big blocks. Patience paid off.

It's been an admittedly slow lesson for Barnes given her competitive spirit, a one that carried her as a San Diego prep star, to an unprecedented college career at the University of Arizona, to a championship career in the WNBA.  It's a spirit that is part nature and nurture though it's also a side of her personality that, as you'll see in the video, was groomed and fine-tuned from her days spent as a kid playing pick-up ball at the Pacific Beach Recreation Center.