Last week Colgate University Raiders senior Josie Stockill finished her outstanding four-year college career when the Raiders were defeated in the quarter finals of the Patriot League play-offs. They went down to number one seed Army West Point 89-62 with the Tall Fern forward contributing 12 points, 6 rebounds and a customary pair of blocks.
Despite Colgate having a losing season (7-23) the Tall Fern has relished the extra responsibility of being a senior.
"This season I have enjoyed stepping up as a leader for my team both on and off the court. I have been working hard to contribute as best I can, both offensively and defensively. Much of my personal success this season can be attributed to the support of my teammates."
The former Napier Girls High School student finished her career as Colgate's all time leading shot blocker (241 blocks) and also holds the record for the most blocks in a single season -105 achieved in the current campaign. In addition she finished 5th all time in rebounding (630 rebounds) and 15th all time in scoring (1,081 points).
"I am very proud of these achievements. I realised that the shot blocking record was within my reach maybe halfway through last season, my dad (Adrian) was keeping a close eye but I always kept it in the back of my mind. This record mostly feels like a nice bonus."
The 1.86m forward earned her first international call up on the Tall Ferns tour of China in 2014. She also played in the series against Japan in 2015 and is keen to gain selection again this year.
"Wearing your country's name on your singlet is the greatest honour achievable and is something I will always strive for as long as I play this great game. This year in particular is a special year, as the Tall Ferns push to qualify for the Olympics, an event that I have always dreamed of being a part of. The dates of this year's events are a little tricky around my college graduation but I will be doing everything I can to be available and in great shape for the Tall Ferns campaign."
The Hawkes Bay native will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts degree after majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Biology. Her academic ability coupled with her athletic prowess was reflected in Stockill having the honour of being named in the 2016 Patriot League Academic All-League team.
Stockill has many fond memories from her four years in New York.
"I have had some amazing opportunities playing for Colgate, we played at UConn in my freshman year in front of 9,000 fans. Also in my freshman year we upset the 1st-placed Army team in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. Highlights from this year would definitely be having 13 blocks and 27 points at Lafayette, and a career high 29 points against Army at home. However, the biggest thrill of all was having my team visit and play games in New Zealand last year. Showing them my hometown, home country and home culture was incredible. And they had a great time too!"
After graduation and the Tall Ferns campaign Stockill will be training hard in New Zealand, preparing to hopefully embark on a professional career. However before that eventuates there is an important location she intends to head for.
"I've had eight winters in a row thanks to the hemisphere hopping that I have done. Winters in upstate New York are not kind either so after seeing friends and family my priority is to get some sunshine and post up on a kiwi beach for a while."
After all that shot blocking a bit of sunshine is the least she deserves.