© Frank Gale
Bev Greenlaw believes it’s impossible to predict how bright the future will be for Hannah Stokes, but he certainly believes she has potential to do great things on the hardcourt.
Stokes, who will graduate from Stephenville High in Newfoundland next month, will join Acadia’s varsity women’s basketball team under Greenlaw on the Atlantic University Sport scene in September.
“Nobody can ever predict those kinds of things,” Greenlaw said when asked how far Stokes can take her game. “Anybody who says up front this or that is going to happen is either some kind of mystic or because they’re insane.”
According to Greenlaw, the five-foot-10 daughter of Neil and Loretta Stokes has been on the Axewomen’s radar for a couple of years after he heard some good things about her from his contacts.
Greenlaw got a first-hand look at Stokes during a visit to Acadia last month while a spring basketball league for female high school basketball players was in full force on campus.
It appears the coach saw enough to believe she can come in and help a young team that will likely feature as many as eight players only in their second season of varsity basketball. He was particularly pleased to see that Stokes could very well be the answer the team is looking for in its desire to have strength in the back court, particularly in the point guard role.
“The reason we recruited Hannah is because we think Hannah has the capacity to come in and help our team,” he said, noting the Axewomen had eight regulars who missed the entire season one year ago due to injuries.
“We think she’s talented and we think she has the potential to bring a real positive to our team,” he said.
With so many youngsters in the mix, coach Greenlaw believes Stokes is entering the program at an opportune time.
“Even though she’s coming out of high school she’ll be able to come in with this young group and hopefully fit in and hopefully a bunch of them will get better together,” coach Greenlaw said.
Being among a group of girls who are also relatively new to the program is something that has Stokes both comfortable and excited about her decision to attend Acadia.
“Definitely, because that gives us, as a team, years to develop and grow together so that by the fourth and fifth years we’ll all be used to one another and hopefully be winning,” she said.
She’s eager to balance a hectic schedule of basketball with a full slate of academic responsibilities in the field of kinesiology.
“I’m excited to play and I’m excited to learn. Hopefully I can develop over the next five years,” she said, noting she believes her work ethic and vision on the floor should help her earn her way.
Oh, and she was very impressed with what she experienced during her recent journey to check out the school and all it has to offer.
“It’s a beautiful school. I love everything about it ... the atmosphere, the people and the coach. It’s just a beautiful town,” said the 17-year-old Stephenville High student.
Coach Greenlaw has provided her with a training program to follow over the summer to ensure she’s in good shape for the start of her rookie campaign.
“I got to put on a lot of weight, like, muscle-wise, and get in a lot better shape just to help maintain my body over the course of all the training and games,” she said.
Time will tell how much of an impact player she will be in her first year. She just plans on working hard and hopes good things come to fruition once she’s found her way.