Traveling with the UTEP women's basketball team is an incredible experience that I am truly cherishing.  When Steve Kaplowitz told me last August that I would be the fortunate one broadcasting their games at FAU in Boca Raton and at FIU in Miami, I nearly did summer salts!  After all, who wouldn't love a road trip with the 14-1 Miners to Florida in January?

Currently the team is on an epic winning streak, having won 6 in a row, 10 or their last 11, and are one of only two teams that remain undefeated in C-USA play at 5-0.  They boast an RPI of 37, and have received votes in the AP top 25 for the past 6 weeks.  Currently UTEP is ranked 33rd in the country.  One of the primary reasons for their tremendous success is attributed to junior guard Sparkle Taylor.  Taylor, a native of Flint, Michigan is scoring 11.2 points per game and more recently scored 15 points verses UTSA, and 21 points against UAB.

I asked Sparkle a few questions from Boca Raton and she had some awesome answers for me.  When I asked Taylor what she liked most about El Paso, she mentioned, "I like the mountains, the fans as well as their support for our team, and the people are nice."  In response to my question about her best memory at UTEP thus far Sparkle said, "everything has been exciting, the WNIT, and selling out the Don Haskins Center was incredible!"

Taylor had this to say about our south Florida road trip, "it's a good experience for us to be playing in Florida, I've never playing at FAU and have never been to Boca Raton before.  We are playing a good team that can shoot a lot of 3's, they are very good at home, and we want to continue this winning streak."

The Iceman and the team following practice at FAU. (Photo by Coach Ewa)

I asked Taylor what it is like to play for Coach Keitha Adams and she said, "it's very good, I've learned so much from her, she knows what she is talking about and is a great coach, and makes it fun."

When asked what her favorite food is Sparkle said, "salmon and corn on the cobb."  Finally the Iceman and Sparkle have developed a friendship and she calls me her "brother."  I asked Sparkle how she came up with that nickname for me and she  mentioned, "you're cool and have a brotherly side and I really like your personality."

Sparkle Taylor and the Iceman outside of FAU Arena in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brunner)

Those are very kind words that I won't forget, and am thankful for our friendship.  That is the best part about traveling with the UTEP women's basketball team, getting to know the girls and the coaches so well, and see how much of a family they truly are.

Don't forget to listen to UTEP @ FAU on Thursday at 5 p.m. MST, and @ FIU on Saturday at 12 p.m. MST on 600 ESPN El Paso.