WYANDOTTE — Tarrah Stephens of Wyandotte, the most valuable player in the Lucky 7 Conference, signed a basketball letter of intent with John Brown University, Wednesday Oct. 10.
“I really like their campus and that they are a Christian community,” Stephens said. “I love their athletic program.”
JBU, located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is a member of the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference.
Siloam is only a little over an hour away (54 miles) from Wyandotte.
“That was another big factor in me wanting to go to John Brown — its close enough that I could make the commute back and forth if I needed to,” Stephens said. “People can come watch me, especially from my old high school.”
The Golden Eagles were picked fifth in the SAC women’s basketball coaches’ preseason poll for the coming season.
JBU was 19-12 in 2017-18 with a 12-8 record in conference play.
“We are very excited about Tarrah,” said Golden Eagle head coach Jeff Soderquist. “The thing about her that we like so much is she is so versatile. She has length and can play about any position. That’s really going to fit into our style of play.”
Soderquist is entering his 22nd year as women’s coach at John Brown.
He’s the winningest coach in the program’s history.
Soderquist’s teams have made five trips to the NAIA national tournament.
Wyandotte girls’ coach Bob Walters calls Stephens one of the best players he’s had.
“She is very versatile,” Walters said. “She can play the post, she can play forward, she can handle the ball because we’ve used her at point guard. She is very basketball smart and has a good basketball IQ.
“She is one of those basketball players that rarely comes along that has all the skills and the tools. I think she will just keep getting better.”
Stephen has been targeted as a 3 or 4 shooting guard.
“I definitely need to improve my 3-point shooting and ball handling,” she said.
Stephens plans on studying kinesiology.