Kiah

Kiah Stokes

#41 F/C, New York Liberty

My Blog

November 25, 2016

As I finally get a chance to relax I figured ‘why not take the time to share some more thoughts?’ Thanksgiving was here and gone before I even could realize it. (I swear it was Halloween just last week!) I didn’t have the chance to have a typical “American” Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family and friends, but I’m okay with that. My family means a lot to me and I know they missed me (they better have or else!) but they understand my responsibilities and they all want what is best for me. I am very thankful that I have family and friends that understand that I’m living an unusual life at the moment. I get the opportunity to spend over half of the year living outside of the US.

However, leaving New York was bittersweet this time. I had really gotten used to my workouts with T-Spoon and Herb Williams in the morning and then the occasional spin class later at night. It was great and I felt like I was getting in great shape, although I haven’t played in a game in months so I’ll test this feeling out on Sunday. Please lungs, don’t fail me now! Like I said though; bittersweet. I was in a good place, I was happy, healthy, having some fun, yet always working my ass off to get in shape and improving my game. I was in a great rhythm, I was definitely getting used to being in the states, and I didn’t want to pack up everything and head overseas: to Istanbul, to a country I had never been to, to play for a coach I knew nothing about. But then I was talking to one of my friends, and I was reminded that I get to play basketball in countries all over the world, and I get paid to do it.

Doing what you love as a career is the best possible scenario; could I really get sad about leaving? Yes, it’s going to be tough missing the holidays with my family, but I get a chance to work on my game, meet new people, experience a new culture and play ball. So while everyone else is gathered with their family and enjoying their holiday traditions, I’ll be in Turkey trying to figure out where the damn grocery store is! Just kidding, but not really. I haven’t found it yet. I was told it’s in the basement of my building, but all I saw was a parking garage sooo we’ll see. In all seriousness though, I can’t wait until Sunday. I just want to get back on the court and play again. Lets Go Beşiktaş!!

September 21, 2016

I know I haven’t written anything in a while, but it’s been a busy two months. So I’m just going to ramble off some thoughts that have been on my mind lately…

1) The playoffs are starting; I actually just finished up watch Phoenix and Indiana in the 1st round game. Congrats to Phoenix, we will see you on Saturday night. Anyway, it was a great game, but also a sad moment as the WNBA will officially say goodbye to Tamika Catchings as a player. She has done so much for the league; you can’t even put it all into words. All I am going to say is THANK YOU. You have put your blood, sweat, and tears in the league and into the game. You don’t know how much you have inspired girls all over the world. What you have done for the game in incredible, so I say again,,,thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU.

ps. I would say something about Swin, but we aren’t finished, we still got business to handle!!

2) I don’t think it takes much effort to be respectful. I think the world needs less hatred in general. But something that has been bothering me is the lack of respect and just meanness of people when it comes to women’s sports. With the playoffs starting, major sport outlets have been supporting and promoting the WNBA (as I think they should) but the only thing I’m seeing are people telling us to “get back in the kitchen” or “no one cares” or “if I wanted to watch girls trying to play sports, I’d watch the lingerie football league.” Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you really don’t want to see something, why not keep scrolling, or don’t click on an article that has to do with women’s sports. I just don’t see why there is so much hatred for women’s sports, especially the WNBA. It’s the top league in the world when it comes to women’s basketball. Its 2016, sports are more than just the NBA and NFL. Women actually kick ass in sports and I guarantee we all can beat anyone who’s talking sh*t (pardon my language) sitting behind their computer who thinks otherwise. Enough of that though, those people really aren’t worth my time. I’d much rather thank all the fans of the WNBA and women’s sports in general. You guys are awesome and we wouldn’t be where we are today without all of you!

3) Sooo some people are very outraged about Colin Kaepernick and his decision to kneel during the national anthem. I won’t go into too much detail, but I wanted to share my opinions. I think he’s starting a conversation that needs to happen. I’ve said it before, but there is a problem in our country. He’s not anti-white or anti-police, and I think that is very important to mention. He, just like many others, wants to see innocent black lives protected by the police at the same rate white lives are. I support his movement. I know it can come with backlash, but I am willing to accept that. I want to see a change in this country just like many others, and starting the conversation is the first step. No one should have to fear for their life anytime they get pulled over or anytime they interact with the police. Just like Minnesota’s shirts said, “Change Starts With Us” that means ALL of us.

July 26, 2016

Since my last post, I feel like we (WNBA players) have accomplished a lot of things. We stood up for what we believed in and accepted the consequences. I knew we were going to get fined, I just didn’t think it was going to be $500. To be honest, I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. I think our president, Lisa, finally rescinded the fines because she understood what we were doing and I know she can appreciate all of the players stepping up. We tried to compromise by wearing adidas so maybe that helped too. I’m not 100% sure, I just know that we as players made a difference. We kept the conversation going, and we hope that we can make a difference in communities as well.

With that being said, I wanted to share a little bit about my time in Los Angeles for the USA Olympic team vs the USA select team (that I was a part of). First off, it was an honor to be selected to play against the Olympic team. Those women are at the top of the league and someday I want to be there too. It was an incredible experience and something that I won’t forget. Especially since we almost won! We only lost by four points, I think the largest deficit was 12 or 13, but we fought back and had a chance to win. It was fun to play in and I hope we challenged the Olympic team so that they can go out and whoop everyone else. Maybe they’ll send us honorary gold medals? Ehh okay maybe not. But this team better win the gold anyways.

I haven’t been on a USA Basketball team since I was 17, so being called to participate was really exciting for me. Yes, it did mess up my family vacation to Jamacia, but oh well. I’d rather play the sport I love with ‘USA’ on my chest. I’ll go to Jamacia and sip piña coladas on the beach another time. Luckily my family was here to enjoy the time in LA as well. And apparently I’m extremely lucky that my brother, Darius, came too because he has yet to come to a Liberty game this summer! How can you not drive three hours to Chicago for one day to watch me, but you wanna fly three hours to LA for three days??

All jokes aside, I’m really glad he made the trip. He’s always been there for me and it’s great having him around. We also got to play ping pong while at the hotel. We had a ping on table at our mom’s house back in Iowa and the games were always very competitive and intense. I won’t go into much detail about how the games turned out the past couple days, I’ll just let you all know that I went undefeated while here in LA. Congratulations to me!

The WNBA returns to action in late August so until then I hope everyone enjoys the Olympics. Go USA!!

July, 9 2016

This past week has been overwhelming, and it has nothing to do with basketball. It has everything to do with what is happening to all of us right here at home. In the past four days there have been too many lives lost, both civilian and police. It seemed like every morning this week I woke up seeing another name on the news, another hashtag on Twitter, and even more people shouting their opinions about who was right and who was wrong.

I am a proud supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and campaign. This does NOT mean that I think that all other non-black lives don’t matter and I want to make sure that is clear. All lives DO matter, but right now at this point in time, there is data that shows that black people are being shot and killed by the police at an alarming rate compared to other races. If you don’t believe me, there are articles on the web that state how blacks are targeted more, how blacks are more likely to be convicted of a crime, how blacks are more likely to be ‘randomly searched’ and how black are more likely to be shot and killed while interacting with the police.

Anyway, back to what has happened this week. Something has to change in this country. Police brutality is becoming one of the biggest issue and it’s creating tension across America. Instead of becoming a country that is united, it seems like everyday people are pulling each other apart, putting each other down, and acting and speaking in unconstitutional ways. I don’t know how I can personally change this but I just want my family, friends, and fans to understand what I see and what I want to change so hopefully I can bring awareness to the cause and we all can step and create a change.

If I could have my way, it would look something like this:

Police Officers:

  1. wouldn’t assume that blacks are bad and violent
  2. wouldn’t pull out a gun at the first sign of a person resisting
  3. wouldn’t shoot to kill or fire multiple shots at a person because they are scared. I know there are other ways to apprehend a suspect than to put him or her in a body bag.
  4. would serve and protect the citizens of the United States as if they were protecting their own families.

Black citizens who get pulled over (or any citizen):

  1. would be respectful and not cause anymore tension that could possibly be there.
  2. would LISTEN to the police when they ask for something and COMPLY fully.
  3. wouldn’t assume all police officers are bad, because there are so many good ones that we don’t hear about.

All Americans:

  1. would recognize understand that there is a problem within our country.
  2. would understand that supporting equality for every race is not a bad thing!
  3. would see past race when commenting about a situation and look at the facts (armed or unarmed, excessive force or not, etc.)

I know it might seem unfair to be extra cautious when interacting with the police, but shootings have constantly been increasing and people being stubborn and trying to ‘fight back’ is not going to make anything better. Black Lives Matter, but both sides have to work in order to make the situation better. That’s how I feel anyway.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all families and friends that have been effected this past week. #AltonSterling. #PhilandoCastile. #BlackLivesMatter. Also prayers to the Dallas officers who joined the protests and stood up for what is right. Thank you for showing the world there is still good and that we all can do better.

About Kiah

Kiah Stokes (born March 30, 1993) is an American basketball player chosen by the New York Liberty with the No.11 pick in the first round of the 2015 WNBA Draft at Mohegan Sun Arena.  She played four years at the University of Connecticut where she was part of four consecutive Final Four teams and won three straight national championships [2013-15]. Prior to enrolling at UConn she played for Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. She played on the USA Basketball U16 National Team, where she helped the team win the FIBA Americas U16 Championship Gold Medal. She is the daughter of former NBA player Greg Stokes.

  • Date of birth
    March 30th 1993
  • Hometown
    Marion, Iowa
  • Listed Height
    6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
  • Listed Weight
    190 lb (86 kg)

Stokes is the daughter of Greg Stokes and Julie Saddler and has one brother, Darius. Her father was an all-american basketball player at the University of Iowa, played for the Philadelphia 76ers and won gold with the 1983 USA Pan American Games Team. When Stokes was only four years old, her father signed her up for a YMCA track team which was designed for five and six-year-olds. Despite being a year or two younger than everyone else she competed in the 60 yard dash and beat everyone by 20 yards. That’s when he knew she might be a special type of athlete.

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Quotes

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”

Colin Powell

“If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.”

Jim Rohn

“You will never fully believe in yourself if you keep comparing yourself to everyone else. Instead, compare yourself to who were yesterday”

Anonymous

Awards and Honors

WNBA

WNBA All-Defensive Second Team

2015

WNBA All-Rookie Team

2015

University of Connecticut

3x NCAA champion

(2013, 2014, 2015)

American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year

2014-15

Second-team All-AAC

2014

Big East All-Rookie Team

2012

High School

ESPN Rise.com All-America second team

2010

Gatorade State Player of the Year

2010

1st team All-State

(2009, 2010, 2011)

Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year

(2010, 2011)

State Champions

2010

Miss Iowa Basketball

2011

McDonalds All-American

2011

WBCA All-American

2011

Media

  • All
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • WNBA Rookie Diary
    WNBA Rookie Diary
  • A Photo Gallery
    A Photo Gallery
  • August Rookie of the Month Highlights
    August Rookie of the Month Highlights

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