Prep standout Stokes back for Game Time

BY RYAN YOUNG | JUNE 26, 2013 5:00 AM

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Kiah Stokes is back in town and ready to play some basketball.

Stokes, who was a late addition to the Game Time League, was placed on Joe Johnston’s team, where she’ll play alongside Iowa players Theairra Taylor and Kayla Timmerman for the summer. The team is a good fit for Stokes, who is ready to play extensive time at center.

“Once she was sure that she could play in the league, I had to make sure I didn’t put her on a team where she would be competing for minutes with other bigs,” Game Time Commissioner Randy Larson said. “Team five was just the best place for her.”

Stokes — along with several Iowa, Upper Iowa, and Coe College players — will take on Kali Peschel and Morgan Johnson’s team at 7:30 p.m. today in the Jones Gym of the North Liberty Community Center.

“I’m looking forward to being on the court with her this summer,” sai dCoe College recruit and summer league teammate Mickey Hansche said. “I’m just glad she’s on my team so she doesn’t get the chance to block me.”

Stokes, who graduated from Linn-Mar High School in 2011, was the 2010 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year, a 2011 McDonalds High School All-American, and one of the most famous female basketball players to come out of the state.

After her freshman season at UConn, she was named to the Big East All-Freshman team. She recorded 50 blocks that year, the fourth-highest season total in UConn history.

“When your driving the lane, you’re going to think twice with Kiah in the paint,” Larson said. “If you don’t, you are going to get a big WILSON tattooed to your forehead.”

The other Game Time contest this evening pits Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Melissa Dixon and her squad against the team led by Iowa’s Bethany Doolittle and Ally Disterhoft.

Disterhoft opened her 2013 summer-league play with a 13-point, 6-rebound performance, while Doolittle’s outing in the post produced 19 points and 11 boards. It was a combination that proved to be advantageous for both players.

“It’s really great to play with her,” Disterhoft said. “I feel like I’m getting to know her, and the rest of my teammates, better on and off the court, which makes the games way better to play in.”

This is Disterhoft’s first year as a Hawkeye in the Game Time League, which she says brings some changes — and, of course, challenges — from when she played in the league in high school.

“I definitely feel like more of a team playing in the league now that I’m a Hawk,” she said. “It also adds a sort of target on your back, which is both good and bad.”

Disterhoft and Doolittle will team up again at 6 p.m. today in the Jones Gym — just before Stokes and her team take the court.

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