The Gonzaga Bulldogs’ women’s squad has a lot of excitement circling around in the changing of the guard, with the Wirth twins and Jill Townsend ending their collegiate careers last year. There are multiple young players ready to step in and fill that void, and one underappreciated one might be Redondo Beach product Calli Stokes.
Stokes committed to Gonzaga back in May of 2020, and it came after the splashier securings of Bree Salenbien and Esther Little. Stokes, at the time of her commitment, had just completed a junior year marred by injuries. Looking before that, and afterwards, the Zags are getting a gem of a forward who should be a solid building block going forward.
Finally fully healthy in her senior year, Stokes averaged 21 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and three assists per game, earning Bay League co-MVP honors. This is in addition to her other calling in softball, in which she earned first-team all-league honors.
Stokes had stellar freshman and sophomore years, and honestly very well could be a higher-rated recruit if not for the injury-riddled junior year and the overall weirdness that was the COVID season last year. Considering that head coach Lisa Fortier loves to run a deep bench, it is not far fetched to assume that Stokes will see some minutes this season. However, with the influx of talent coming in the frontcourt alongside McKayla Williams and Yvonne Ejim, it will be a battle for minutes.
The safer bet is probably to see a few minutes here and there from Stokes. With hard work and a few more roster openings, she should see a greater role on the team throughout her sophomore and junior year campaigns.