Hoop legend returns to court, to coach - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hoop legend returns to court, to coach

By Coleman Swierc

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tucked away in a hidden gym, is one of the greatest to play the game.

"When I saw her on TV, I was like, I know I have seen her game before, I just did not realize who she was," said Texas College senior Elise Kea.

Stacy stephens was voted, one of the best high school players of century.

She was also an All-American at Texas, and played professionally in the WNBA, and overseas.

But you'll never hear her brag about it.

"My days of playing are gone, it is about them, it is about their journey," said Stephens, now an assistant coach at Texas College, "It is about them getting better. It's not about me."

"She is not the person who just banks on the legend of Stacy Stephens," said head coach Jennifer Pillich.

Now, with her playing days behind her, one of the greatest ever on the court, stands off it.

"I had really great coaches, and they influenced by life in a way that you cant really explain," said Stephens, "But it is something that I knew, from a really young age that I wanted to pass along to the other people coming through the basketball system."

"She throws in the, 'back in my day we did it like this' and it is very motivational," said Kea, "Since she is not that much older than us, she understands us, and it makes it as a high standard now."

And when you are voted as one of the top players in high school in the past century.

Your team listens...or else.

"One time, she bowed another girl in the mouth, and she walked off the court and she makes the basket, and she was like 'who's next?'" said Pillich, "And we were like, 'ok coach' you got it."

"I will shoot a shot, or something, and the girls are like 'aw, coach can shoot', and I'm like, yep, coach can shoot."

And while the fire to play still burns a bit, the flame is fueled, not on the court, but on the sidelines.

"I really hope, that maybe somewhere, I inspired somebody, and to make sure that every kid is deserving of a coach that wants them to succeed more than anything else."

*Copyright, KLTV, 2010.

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