LANSING | Tiffany Stokes' basketball career took her from Lynwood and T.F. South High School in Lansing to the wheat fields of Kansas, then to the Bronx.
Now she is back home and helps out coach Steve Breshock with the T.F. South girls basketball team. Friday, she was the official bookkeeper, but her goals have her wanting to go to Europe. Stokes played one year at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kans. then three years at Fordham University.
She spent the summer playing in Chicago at the Next Level Women's Pro Am Basketball Association.
She loved her stay at Fordham, earning a degree in visual arts with an emphasis on architecture, but she is not ready to give up the game.
"I just love the game and I want to keep playing," Stokes said. "It (the pro am league) starts up in January and I want to get back in and play."
And the 6-foot-1 post player wants to show what she can do.
"I want to play overseas and I think I have the talent to play professionally," Stokes said.
Her passion rubs off on the Rebels, said T.F. South player Ninah Bertrand.
"She really is a big help to us," Bertrand said. "She played here and in college. She encourages us.
Stokes admits she didn't always agree with Rebels coach Steve Breshock, but realized he was right and she conveys that to his players.
"When I left and saw how it was, I realized he was telling me to do stuff for my own good," Stokes said. "I think by him making me do things the right way and not take shortcuts is why I was able to play Division I basketball."
Breshock certainly said she is a plus.
"She tells the kids to listen to what I am saying because she was in their place a few years ago," Breshock said. "Tiffany went out and realized she had to get better and she knows we are trying to make these kids better here."
Stokes said it was a great experience at Fordham and being in the nation's largest city. There was the challenge of playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
"There was a lot of travel and balancing that with getting your work done," Stokes said. "I got to play against a lot of great players. when I was in high school, my biggest rival was LaShaunda Sandifer at T.F. North. In college, you face someone tough every night."
She loved her stay in New York.
"It was a great time and great experience, but now I want to keep playing," Stokes said. "This is a great opportunity (the Chicago league) to show what I can do and maybe get that chance."
This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at email@example.com.