The Times West Virginian

Prep Sports

June 13, 2014

Summer camps good for multiple reasons

FAIRMONT — For some, summer time is a prime part of the year to relax. For others, it’s an opportunity to get a leg up on their competition.

Two of the Marion County athletes who aren’t spending their summers lounging around the pool are Fairmont Senior’s Emily and Abby Stoller.

Members of the Fairmont Senior basketball squad, the Stoller sisters have been gearing up for the 2014-15 basketball season and beyond.

The two sisters have been playing on the Nike ELITE AAU team in Cleveland, Ohio. Two nights a week, their parents drive them to Cleveland for practice, proving that to get where you want to go, it takes committent and sacrifice from everyone around you in addition to your own efforts.

“It is a huge sacrifice,” Emily and Abby’s mother, Cindy Stoller, said. “When we began it, I kept telling my husband that’s quite a ways to go but it’s really turned out to be a great opportunity for them.”

Getting the chance to play out of state has benefitted Emily’s game already this summer, just a few short months after she averaged 20.0 points, 8.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals for the Polar Bears last season.

The rising senior has multiple college visits along with camp invites at Princeton University and the University of Illinois to go along with her invite to participate in an All-American camp in Tennessee before summer’s end.

The opportunities are endless, though, for players like the Stoller sisters but ultimately their success will trickle down to their teammates come winter time.

“I think it’s a great decision (to play summer basketball),” Fairmont Senior coach Corey Hines said. “You’re seeing what’s out there and can bring that back and help your teammates.”

That alone is the driving force which keeps the Stollers, Cindy included, motivated and focused during the summer months.

“To face these kinds of things just makes your game better,” Cindy said. “They’re always missing pool time or movie time but they’re improving their game. We’re fortunate that they love the game the way that they do.”

That, added to the fact that they’ll get to play under multiple coaches during their high school careers, betters their chances of finding colleges that will be interested in their talents enough to give them a scholarship.

“Different coaching styles. That’s priceless when it comes to going to college,” Cindy said. “Their dad tells them that every coach has something to teach you. The girls have been really fortunate to have been surrounded by people who can help them.”

While Abby will be a sophomore next season and still has a few years before college comes to the forefront of her motives, Emily already has dozens of Division I looks under her belt and will begin college camps today when the Princeton University ELITE Camp starts.

The visits to the school come with a weekend chalked full of basketball drills, making connections and even a campus tour.

But it’s not just Emily who gets to have all the fun.

Just a few hours after her family had visited Carlo’s Bakery Thursday, Cindy said that the trips are always fun because the family is always together.

“We’re really not missing out on anything,” she said. “Because it’s a lot of family time.”

Email Matt Welch at melch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

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