From a player who went from being a bench player to a physical presence this season, Sara Stone is now one of the leaders of the Eastern Michigan University’s women’s basketball team.
“Sara did not have a whole lot of playing experience prior to me being named head coach,” EMU coach Tory Verdi said. “From day one, Sara has continued to improve daily and I think early on [this season] she was doing great until she came down with mononucleosis and it set her back a little bit. Regardless of the illness she had, Sara works hard every day in practice and I think that is one thing no one can ever take away from her.”
Stone, number 14, is a forward who started in eight career games for EMU.
The 5-foot-10-inch junior comes from Canton, Mich., which is about 20 minutes northeast of campus and 25 minutes west of Detroit.
Stone, 20, was born May 26, 1992 and has two older brothers: Kyle, 22, and Grant, who is 27.
She attended Salem High School in Canton, where she was named All-Area in her junior and senior years.
Despite other schools showing interest, Stone ultimately chose to come to EMU because it is closer to home and she liked the campus environment.
Junior point guard and teammate Desyree Thomas talked about the adjustments she and Stone made once they came to EMU.
“[The transition] was good. It was a different speed and play compared to the high schools we came from,” Thomas said. “Our teammates helped us adjust as much as possible.”
Stone considers herself to have been a well-rounded athlete and credits playing multiple sports while growing up as her way of balancing out school and athletics at EMU.
Growing up, Stone not only played basketball, but softball, gymnastics and golf.
Stone is an electronic media and film arts major with a minor in business. Her favorite classes are accounting and audio and video production.
After her sports and academic career winds down at EMU next year, Stone wants to transition into being a video coordinator for any sports show in the metro Detroit area.
“I also want to work behind the scenes in movies and music videos,” Stone said.
Stone’s favorite sport is basketball and her favorite athletes are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Generally, most fans have one favorite team in any given sport, but in Stone’s case, she has two.
Her two favorite teams are the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder even though both teams play in the same conference.
When she gets a break from her busy schedule of being a student-athlete, Stone likes to travel and her favorite place is Jamaica.
“[Jamaica] is so much different from America,” she said. “Everyone seemed to be very laid back and happy during my stay. I also liked the resort I stayed at.”
Stone’s favorite television show is “Family Guy” and her favorite characters from the show are Peter and Stewie Griffin, because of how they can make anything look funny.
“I also like how poorly they treat Meg,” she said. “It is almost as if they see her as a male as opposed to her actual gender as a female.”
Stone’s biggest role model is her mother.
“My mom makes great money and is able to balance her priorities to help me to get to where I am at in my life,” Stone said.