Why The Pro Hung Up Her Jersey


Elijah Adebayo

One of TCU’s best goes into depth about her choice to hang up her jersey and focus on future generations, none other than the one and only… Stephanie Faulkner. When asked what she wanted to do when she was a child, the athlete turned teacher responded “ Since the WNBA wasn’t around, I just knew I wanted to hoop.“  She was an amazing player, it would’ve been assumed that she had years of experience prior, under her belt. Unexpectedly, it turns out that she had only started playing basketball during her freshman year of high school.


What most people don’t know is that Ms. Faulkner first started playing volleyball and track. However, she didn’t want to continue because she disagreed with its dress code and appearance while playing the sports. Though everyone knows her as a star basketball player, Faulkner referred to her Freshman year of basketball as “trash.“ However, she attributes her success to her high school coach, as she recalls that he “saw potential“ in her and built her up. On recruiting trips, she went to many campuses, and on each campus, she would participate in scrimmages. When asked what had made TCU stick out from the rest she responded by saying “As a post player of my height, my build, and ability I hadn’t come across another post player like myself that really challenged me until I met Sandora Irvin (Who then went on to be in the WNBA) and we battled it out the whole weekend. So I ultimately decided to attend TCU in order to play with her. Faulkner also went overseas to play but did not like being away from home and had to have surgery on both her knees. “By the time I came back from my surgeries, it wasn’t in me to keep playing anymore.”


According to Faulkner, she had known that she wanted to do something with children, especially when she came into contact with MHMR, which means Mental Health and Mental Retardation or children with mental disabilities. “I thought that I would be a counselor of some sort, but teaching kind of just fell in my lap“ She attended a job fair, drafted up a resume, and was picked up by a principal and thus started her career as a teacher. “I don’t regret not continuing to play and becoming a teacher because I am very much still involved.“ Faulkner coaches an AAU team and loves what she does, as it has given her a chance to pass on the knowledge to her players. Faulkner’s final message to those trying to choose between playing a sport and a more traditional career is to “Follow your heart, and sometimes doing that means going the traditional route until an opportunity presents itself. Don’t put all of your eggs in one bucket because that’s where many athletes fail. So, be smart, if your heart says play…then do it!”