Bench player proves her worth

Saturday, July 17, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:37 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

When you’re on the bench you never know how much playing time you’ll receive. When you enter the game you have a burning desire to prove to your team, your coaches, and yourself that you deserve a starting position. What’s hard about being a bench player is you have good days and you have bad days, just like everyone else, but the bad days seem to be what the coaches remember.

Abby Stone of Jefferson City plays for the Lady Knights. She is a bench player, but in Friday’s 13-and-under girls basketball game in the Show Me State Games, she proved to be a valuable player as well.

When she entered the game in the first quarter against the Hypers of Fredericktown, Mo., the Lady Knights were in the middle of a 20-point run. Stone contributed four points in that quarter and finished the game with nine. Stone also had two steals and two rebounds before leaving the game with an eye injury in the fourth quarter.

Stone, who is entering eighth grade at Elias Middle School in Jefferson City, is playing her first season with the Lady Knights. The Lady Knights are a year-round traveling team with a 16-3 record. While Stone would love to be in the starting lineup she knows that her job right now is that of a sub for her forward position.

Stone’s mother, Jackie, said Stone has been playing since she was 5, and it was always her own desire to play basketball. In fact, basketball was the opposite direction Jackie had hoped her daughter would take.

“I had always hoped she would be a cheerleader,” Jackie said.

However, if her daughter wanted to play basketball Jackie would not stand in her way.

Lady Knights coach Kevin Mullaly said at this level he is attempting to prepare the girls for high school basketball.

“It’s tough to see girls learn that they have to take a lot of spills and blows and tough it up and continue to play the game,” Jackie Stone said.

While Stone is still in middle school her goal is to play in high school and maybe college. Being a bench player Stone knows that a lot of times you just get one shot to prove yourself, but Stone believes that one shot is all she needs.

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