About 60 kids came out to learn from the all-time leading scorer in women's Division I college basketball history
WAYNESVILLE — On Tuesday, local basketball players had a chance of a lifetime — to train with Jackie Stiles, the all-time leading scorer (3,393 total points) in NCAA Division I women's basketball history.
Thanks to Life's Journey, a non-profit organization partially aimed at giving back to military families, players from all around the community were able to train with the former Missouri State Lady Bear at Waynesville High School.
“Our focus is to help military kids and what a better place to come than Waynesville,” Life's Journey Founder Roger Rekate said. “With Fort Leonard Wood and all the military here, we knew it would be a winner.”
Stiles, also a Women's National Basketball Association player and 2001 WNBA rookie of the year and All-Star, said she was happy to do anything Rekate needed her to do for the camp because it is for a good cause.
“I know camps played a huge part in my development,” Stiles said. “I remember being a young camper and when a coach or a player I looked up to said something to me, how it stuck with me. Now I'm very fortunate to be in a position to give back. Maybe one day I'll see someone [that was in my camp] playing college basketball or even in the pros.”
About 60 campers came out to learn the tools of the trade from Stiles. The kids appeared to be working mainly on ball-handling skills.
Waynesville coach Brittany Matlock helped Stiles with the camp and said she was ecstatic to have such a big name come out to teach a camp in the area.
“We're very blessed to be where we are and I'm very appreciative that they chose our school to host [the camp],” Matlock said. “I think we had a good turnout. Hopefully [the campers] soaked up everything that they could.”
Rekate and Stiles said they are hoping to make the camp an annual event.