The first months were a blur. New city, new school, new team.
The initial disorder has died down, but Sage Indendi still craves the commotion that accompanies her life.
Indendi, a Park High graduate, is currently in Holland, Mich., with her George Fox University teammates to play in the Division III women's basketball Final Four. George Fox, a compilation of 10 freshmen and no returning starters from a year ago, is two wins away from a national championship.
Indendi is one of those freshmen. And in the fall, she was like any other deer-in-the-headlights youngster stepping on a college campus for the first time.
There were classrooms to find, endless notes to take and, oh yes, basketball practice.
"It was chaos," Indendi said Wednesday via cell phone from Michigan.
But now, when things get quiet on Sundays (i.e. no practice), she struggles to sit still.
"I just don't know what to do," she said. "I want to be in the gym or if I don't have homework to do, I'll FIND homework to do because I feel so out of place not doing anything."
That need to keep her hands in constant motion has become a key ingredient for what is already a dream season. George Fox, a Christian university located in Newberg, Ore., 30 miles south of Portland, hasn't tasted defeat this season. The Bruins are 30-0.
Of the three NCAA divisions n including men and women n GFU is one of only four teams that is still undefeated. Division I women's favorite Connecticut (33-0) is the only other unbeaten women's team. For the men, just C.W. Post (30-0) and Findlay (32-0) have yet to lose and those two play next week in the Division II Elite Eight.
"I didn't ever expect to be 30-0," George Fox head coach Scott Rueck said. "Ever."
Few others did either: George Fox was picked to finish fifth in the Northwest Conference pre-season poll.
GFU returned just one senior n 6-foot-4 center Kristen Shielee n from last year's 25-5 squad that reached the Sweet 16.
"We were starting over in every way," Rueck said. "For it to come together as it has, it's almost magical. I thought we could be a playoff team by the end of the year. I was praying for a winning year. We've never had a losing season since I've been here (13 years), and I didn't want to start this year."
Not only have the Bruins been perfect, they've been dominant as well.
Their closest margin of victory is three points (a 56-53 decision over Virginia Wesleyan in the eighth game of the season) and 27 of GFU's victories have been by more than 10 points.
In the NCAA tournament, the Bruins have won by an average margin of 23 points.
Indendi leads her team in assists and steals and is second in scoring (12.5 points per game). The first team all-Northwest Conference guard is part of an all-freshman back court. Keisha Gordon, the team's leading scorer, is also a freshman. And the first three players to come off the bench are freshmen, including Carrie Myers, who is from Townsend.
There are no stats for poise, but Rueck says if there were, Indendi's marks would be at the top.
"I knew how talented she was when she got here with the understanding she had of the game, but I don't think you could predict that a freshman could play with the ice water in her veins that Sage plays with," he said. "The level she competes at, at her age is very unique."
The Bruins play the College of New Jersey (27-4) today at 2 p.m. MDT. The teams have never made it this far but both are hot. TCNJ has won 24 of its last 25 games and includes Hillary Klimowicz, who leads the nation with a .690 field goal percentage.
The other side of the bracket has Washington (Mo.) University playing Amherst, Mass.
Washington is 21-1 in its last 22 games and won four consecutive national titles from 1998-2001. Amherst is making just its second appearance in the NCAA Div. III Tournament.
As for Indendi, it was just a year ago that she was leading Park High to the state Class A tournament for the third consecutive season. And it hasn't taken long for her to become comfortable in her new surroundings.
"I've always wanted to play college ball," she said. "I didn't want to take a scholarship. I just wanted it to be something that I love to do and I'm getting everything out of basketball that I ever wanted."
Indendi will once again be busy this weekend - just as she likes it. But come Sunday n the dreaded day off n the season will be over.
What will she do with all the new down time?
"Start lifting," she said. "Get to the gym and keep shooting."
Final Four glance
At Holland, Mich.
Washington, Mo. (25-4) vs. Amherst (29-2), 2 p.m.
George Fox (30-0) vs. College of New Jersey (27-4), 4 p.m.
Championship, 1 p.m.
NOTE: Today's George Fox game will be webcast on http://D3hoops.com">D3hoops.com. The championship will be shown by CBS College Sports Network.