There's a quiet gym in Sandy that Julie Krommenhoek goes to at different times throughout the week. There, she shoots. Foul shots, 3-pointers, 18-footers, lay-ups, everything and every type of shot you can possibly think of, Krommenhoek practices.
Then she repeats the process over and over again. One right after another, until she's so tired her arms fall limp at her side.Alli Bills plays at the same gym. She plays at the same time and does almost the same routine, except for one major difference.
Instead of shooting, Bills passes. One after another. Bounce passes, chest passes, overhead passes, behind-the-back, razzle-dazzle passes; it doesn't matter, Bills knows them all.
On the other end of her passes is Krommenhoek, toeing the 3-point line. With no time for rest between shots, Krommenhoek catches and shoots. She moves from baseline to baseline, wing to wing, to the top of the circle. Just catching, shooting.
The two then switch, and Bills takes her turn ripping the nets and squaring her feet to the hoop.
It's a routine the two have practiced for as long as they've known one another. And while it may have become boring and repetitive after seven years, with the WNBA Draft slated for Wednesday, the two aren't exactly in a big hurry to get off the horse they rode into town.
Not with the biggest opportunity of their lives staring them in the face.
"We've worked together for a long time now, and good things always happen," Krommenhoek said. "Hopefully we can continue our streak."
The two Ute guards are eagerly anticipating the moment one of the league's 10 teams calls out their names. Both have already signed contracts with the league and are expected to be two of the draftees Wednesday morning.
It's almost perfect. The two players have done everything together over the past four seasons. They've been roommates ever since they began their collegiate careers, and now they live together in the basement of Bills' family home in Sandy.
Together, they led Utah to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, four WAC titles of some form and the school's first-ever national ranking. Krommenhoek is the WAC and Utah's all-time leading scorer; Bills holds the same honor for assists.
If both had the same hair color, you might think they were twins. You might already, with the way the two names have been linked. They definitely have that sister-like, attached-at-the-hip bond between them.
A couple years back, Krommenhoek even pulled the pins out of Bills' surgically repaired knee. Not a normal friendly gesture but something both will remember (even if Bills was sedated at the time).
To Utah women's basketball followers, the Bills-to-Krommenhoek phrase has been as popular as Hot Rod Hundley's Stockton-to-Malone wailings. Bills could find Krommenhoek even when double-, sometimes triple-covered and still hit her backcourt-mate with a perfect chest pass.
And now, the two are actively helping one another prepare for the next level. After finishing their shooting routines at that Sandy gym, the two have waged some of the fiercest one-on-one showdowns in the history of hoops. Neither is partial to the hard foul, which "has tested our friendship at times," said Krommenhoek.
After visiting the WNBA's mid-April pre-draft workouts in Chicago, the two have come to realize the increased physical nature of the professional game. That style has since dictated the pair's workouts.
"We both come home with a lot of new bruises," said Bills. "We both know what we need to do to prepare, and we're already each others' biggest rival. Our games tend to get a little physical."
Neither knows who, if anybody, has their eyes set on drafting either of the guards. They really don't care.
"It would be neat to stay in Utah, but I also think it would be cool to play in another city," said Krommenhoek. "I really don't know who's looking at me; all I can do is wait."
Of course, there is the possibility that one or both could never hear their names. With Krommenhoek standing only 5-foot-9, and Bills two inches shorter, many teams have expressed concern about their size. If all 10 teams are scared off, the two could be left by the wayside.
Both, however, are prepared for such an occasion.
"If I don't get drafted (in the WNBA), I won't play," said Krommenhoek. "I have other interests and goals in my life other than basketball. I've prepared for life without it."
Bills feels the exact same way. Which isn't a big surprise with these two.