We tend to recognize athletes for their prowess, their skills and accomplishment, but being an athlete is about more than just talent or drive. Being an athlete is about love for the game, something Athlete of the Issue Kobe Stoker has plenty of.
“The reason why I love basketball and golf is because it’s fun and competitive and I have such a passion for it,” said Stoker.
His enthusiasm for the game is contagious.
“He is fun and a great teammate, but the best part about Kobe is his heart. He is an amazing young man, that puts everything and everyone else first. I’m going to miss having him around next year. He has made my job fun,” said head coach Chad Peters.
Stoker has been around sports his whole life. Basketball and Golf were a huge part of his childhood. He started playing basketball when he was eight years old, and golf when he was seven. In his years of WYBA and hitting the greens with his dad and grandpa, Stoker’s enthusiasm and drive only grew. Stoker cites his family as being a large incentive in his athletic career.
“Basketball and golf have always been the main sports in my family and seeing my dad uncle and grandpa leave their mark playing sports at Lowry just makes me want to leave my mark at Lowry as well and show that hard work does pay off,” said Stoker.
Stoker’s family hasn’t been his only inspiration. Stoker is immensely thankful to his role model Todd Milton. Milton coached Stoker on both his 7th and 8th grade teams, as well as in travel ball.
“He was my hero,” said Stoker. “He taught me how to become a student of the game. He showed me how to never give up. Not only in basketball but in life too. He also has taught me to be a leader and to be humble.”
Milton passed away in 2018, but his legacy lives on in the things athletes like Stoker learned from him.
“He was truly the greatest thing that has happened to me,” said Stoker. “Not only did he teach me lessons in basketball but in life too, and I’ll use those lessons for the rest of my life.”
Sports have always been praised for the life skills they teach, and Stoker takes away all he can.
“It also teaches you how to enjoy the good times, fight through the bad times, and work together with your teams,” said Stoker.
For Athletes like Stoker, a game is never just a game. When an athlete becomes as passionate about their game as Stoker has, the game becomes a way of life.
“Sports have always been a part of me,” said Stoker. “If I’m going through something in my life. I can always count on basketball or golf to help me clear my mind and look at the whole picture.”
Throughout his athletic career, Stoker’s dedication has brought him much accomplishment. Stoker has been on the varsity golf and basketball team since his freshman year and has gone to state for golf every season.
“My advice for any athlete is that hard work pays off,” said Stoker. “If you want to reach your dreams and your goals you’re gonna have to work for them. And though your athletic career, if you hit a barrier where it takes you back a couple steps, don’t ever give up. Use that as fuel and learn from it to make you a stronger and better athlete mentally and physically.
Stoker’s drive is apparent to everyone he meets, especially his coaches.
“In my 26 years of coaching Kobe is one of the most competitive, hard-working kids I have ever been around,” said Varsity boys basketball coach Chad Peters.