116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY -- Kiah Stokes is playing. She's contributing.
And she's happy.
"I love it there," Stokes said with a broad smile Thursday, referring to her new life as a member of the powerhouse University of Connecticut women's basketball program. "I definitely made the right decision."
On Wednesday, Stokes was in South Carolina, helping the second-ranked Huskies demolish the College of Charleston, 72-24.
By Thursday, she was at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, watching her brother Darius -- a member of the Iowa men's team -- before heading home to Marion to start a brief stretch of rest and relaxation.
UConn's next game is next Thursday at Storrs against Fairfield. The Huskies are 10-1; their loss came to No. 1 Baylor on national television Sunday night.
A 6-foot-4 freshman post from Linn-Mar and the 2011 Gazette Female Athlete of the Year, Stokes is one of seven Huskies that have played in all 11 games. She is averaging 12.5 minutes per game.
Iowa's all-time high-school leader in blocked shots, she is tops on the UConn roster with 14 this season. She is averaging 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
"A couple games, I didn't get to play that much," she said. "When I don't play, I just try to use it as motivation. I think I can get more rebounds, and anything I can do defensively helps the team."
Yes, Stokes has heard the wrath of Coach Geno Auriemma.
"He yells at me, yeah. But he yells at all of us," she said.
Stokes has not yet decided on a major academically. She said she finished her first semester with a grade point average around 3.5.
"(Juggling basketball and academics), it's been harder than I thought it would be," she said. "I'm more tired in general than I was in high school. Practice is kind of a release for me."
Stokes led Linn-Mar to a 94-7 record in her four years there. The Lions won the 2010 Class 4A state championship.