Family's presence is best present

Courtesy Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson had a chance to toss the football around with her brothers after attending the Seahawks' practice last Friday.

Anna Wilson, a sophomore at Collegiate High (Richmond, Va.), is one of the best high school basketball players in the nation. The 5-foot-7 point guard, who has given a verbal commitment to Stanford, is also the sister of NFL star Russell Wilson. She has agreed to blog for espnW. This is her first submission.

In the craziness of the holiday season and the new year that is approaching, sometimes we forget what really matters, and as Christmas Day drew near, I began to reflect on what that day really means.

Courtesy Anna Wilson

The Wilson siblings, from left, Russell, Anna and Harry, are rarely in the same place at the same time, which is why Anna cherishes pictures like this one.

It is more than just the Christmas music and presents under the beautifully lit-up tree. I have been more than blessed during this past year and holiday season. I could not be any more thankful for what God, my family, teammates, teachers and coaches have done for me.

The first half of my winter break I got the chance to spend time with my family. The majority of time was spent in the great city of Seattle. I was only there for a week and a half, but I can definitely say we made the most of our time together. During that time, I stayed away from basketball to relax, heal up and be with family. I am not going to lie ... it was nice to be off school, as well as basketball.

The days leading up to Christmas Day were filled with things to do -- like going to Russell's practice, attending the Seahawks’ Christmas dinner, traveling to watch the Tennessee vs. Stanford women’s basketball game, returning for the Seahawks’ game and participating in our family cook-off.

Russell's practice was really cool, mainly because we got the chance to see what he does every day and what game preparations are like. Afterward, it was fun throwing around the football with my brothers and meeting the head coach of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll.

Courtesy Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson, lined up to be a future Stanford star, poses with former Stanford star and current Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Later that night, my family got dressed up to go to the Seahawks’ dinner party. The part that made my day was probably the picture I got with my brothers in front of the Christmas tree at the dinner party. Even though I have plenty of pictures with each of them, it is rare for us all to be together at once.

The next day my mom and I traveled to the Tennessee vs. Stanford game. Even though there were few students on campus because of break, the game was sold out and the atmosphere was awesome. I had a great time on the Farm.

My mom and I had to travel back that night to make sure we were back in time for the Seahawks-Cardinals game the next morning. We all got up early and put on our gear, ready to support. My family gets hyped up for game day as if we all are about to play. The game was great, and my whole family got to go on the field for the first time. I love the Seahawks’ fans because they are so dedicated and cheer the whole game. The 12th man is so surreal.

The night before Christmas Eve, Russell and his wife, Ashton, made an announcement that we would be having a family cook-off. Everyone paired up, so I was partnered with my mom. My mom and I made a chicken and bean stew and a wedge salad. Our presentation was phenomenal and I whipped together a short video to introduce our menu.

Courtesy Anna Wilson

Anna Wilson -- here with her mom, Tammy, and grandmother Carolyn Wilson -- says all the Wilsons get pumped up for game day as if they were going to play.

Only problem with the cook-off was that my family is very competitive, which is not a bad thing, but there was definitely tension in the room. I thought it was a great idea, and plenty of food was left over for Christmas Day, so no one had to cook.

Christmas Day everyone got up at a decent time to open presents. Harry, my oldest brother, played Santa’s helper by passing out gifts. The best gift I received was the time spent with my family. No material thing could possibly replace the week and a half I had with them. I love my family and I know that they are always supportive of me.

I hope everyone spent a little time with their family and with the people they love the most this holiday season.

I also want to thank espnW for giving me the opportunity to write about my winter break and Christmas experience. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With much love,

Anna Wilson