Karen Knox has been going to the Stutz Basketball Academy since she was in the 7th grade, on a very regular basis. Her parents goal was to have her skill level high enough that the high school coach would not have any reason not to play her. At 5’4″ that was going to be a tough challenge, especially because Karen did not have very good shooting form, and her ball-handling was about average, at best.

But, with her desire and huge heart, Karen not only had a great high school experience, including some back issues that cost her a year, she is moving on the the next level and will be playing at Graceland University on scholarship. Her height is still the same, but her skill level has change tremendously.

When I told some of my younger students about Karen signing day, they said, “Wow coach, you got her a scholarship!” I said, “No, I gave her information, instruction and encouragement, she earned her scholarship!”

Here is one part of a letter that Karen wrote and gave on her special day, “Thank you for all these well spent years in the gym listening to you teach me, not just about the game of basketball, but about the Lord, as well. I have never looked up to a person as much as I look up to you (literally). I’ll never forget where I started and all the hard work and dedication it took to get to the skill level I am at today. I’ll never forget the people who helped me along the way.”

Needless to say, Karen is a very special player and person. She has great support from her family and genuinely cares for people. I’ve learned a lot from Karen, as well. One day she gave me a gift. It was a plaque that says, “Blessed is the man who trusts is in the Lord, whose hope is in Him.” (Jer 17:7) I see that everyday. So, THANK YOU, Karen! and continue to work hard, have fun and enjoy the game.