Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four years ago, a 5 foot, 5 inch, blonde girl from Louisville, Tennessee, attended her first class at North Greenville University. At first glance, teachers and students reckoned that she was just another student in the Upstate of South Carolina’s fastest growing university. Little did they know that in just four short years, she would become the most prolific scorer in North Greenville women’s basketball history.

“Absolutely not,” stated Stache, when asked if people thought she was an athlete her first year on campus. “They were probably like, ‘who brought their little sister to campus?’” I definitely do not look like your typical college athlete.”

In four years, Stache has become the school’s all-time leader in three pointers made with 248 thus far in her career, and free throw percentage at 84%. On February 8, 2012, Karly also became the school’s leading scorer for women’s basketball with 1,449 points, breaking Earlana Jackson’s record of 1,441 set in 2005.

“Karly broke this record because of her hard work and dedication,” says head coach Jayne Arledge, who in her 30 years at NGU has seen some great talent come and go. “I have to give her a lot of credit because she set a new standard for our program. She comes early, and stays late and the young players see her working. But, our other seniors have also done a great job setting an example.”

The transition from high school to college was challenging for Stache, who graduated from Heritage High School in Louisville, Tennessee in 2009.

“I played at a pretty big high school so that helped me, but the transition was tough at first,” says Stache. “We played a lot of pre-season pickup games so that helped me. One thing that also helped me was for the first part of the season, no one knew who I was, and I got quite a few open looks.”

Karly set the tone for her career in her freshman campaign scoring 375 points to lead the team. She followed that up with a 364 point sophomore season, and a 396 point junior season, her best as a Crusader. Each of her first three seasons, Stache has led the team in scoring and has been the focal point of opponent’s defensive strategy.

“This year has been a little rougher for her, “remarked Arledge. “She is usually the one player that the other team keys on; their best athlete usually guards her. But, that has helped us because her teammates work hard to get her open, knowing that it will help them get open.”

Stache, however, is not just a threat on the court. She possesses a 4.0 grade point in her mathematics major entering her final semester at NGU. Her goal, when coming to NGU, was not to break records however.

“When I came to North Greenville, breaking records was never part of the plan,” she said. “I just wanted to play to the best of my ability, consistently, and for the team I was a part of to succeed. This year has gone above and beyond all my past goals. Breaking a record is great, but winning a championship? That would definitely be a better end to my career.”

As a two-time National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association All-American, Karly Stache wants people to know that it never came easy for her.

“I just want people to know; I didn’t just pick up a ball and magically shoot three pointers. It took hard work, but I loved it, and enjoyed it. I love playing basketball at NGU, and I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything. I want people to remember me as a person, and for my awesome singing voice!”