2010-01-07 / Sports

DeTour Coach and Player Bond in Sports, Church, Family

By David Latva

DeTour coach Sarah Adams (right) and senior Abby Stocking have built a strong relationship during the last six years. DeTour coach Sarah Adams (right) and senior Abby Stocking have built a strong relationship during the last six years. Church and basketball are two keys that motivated the relationship between Sarah Adams, DeTour Raiders varsity girls basketball coach, and Abby Stocking, a senior athlete at DeTour High School. They met through church, went on to form a coach/player relationship in the school’s basketball program, and today, the coach has become the legal guardian for Miss Stocking, who shares her home.

The friendship between the two started six years ago in 2003. Ms. Adams is the youth pastor at Wilderness Tabernacle Church in DeTour, where Miss Stocking was then a member of the youth program.

The relationship grew further with high school basketball. Ms. Adams was the junior varsity coach the same year Miss Stocking was a freshman player. For the last three years, the pair have been in the Raiders varsity program together.

When Miss Stocking’s adoptive parents decided to move to Florida during the 2007 - 2008 school year, the oldest of five children wanted to stay in DeTour to complete her education. She called her coach with the news that the family was planning to move away.

"I received a phone call at 10:30 p.m. from a very emotional Abby," recalls Coach Adams. "I told her we would somehow work things out and she would be able to stay in DeTour."

The coach offered her a place to live in her own home, and Miss Stocking’s parents consented to the arrangement.

"My parents and Abby's parents have been very supportive with our decision. We prayed and worked this out together," said Coach Adams. "We had a growing period that is normal for a mother and daughter or an older sister and younger sister."

Ms. Adams eventually became the student’s legal guardian, and the relationship has developed into one of true family.

"We have had good and bad times and our friendship is truthful," said Miss Stocking. "We started out as youth pastor and student and it carried over to coach and player. It continues to be very positive."

Miss Stocking will graduate in 2010. She carries a 3.94 grade point average and plans to attend Aquinas College in Grand Rapids to earn a degree in nursing.

Her parents, Roger and Diane Stocking, and four siblings, Paul, 17, Chelsea, 16, Joshua, 12, and Hannah, 11, live in Florida.

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