SPOKANE, Wash — The Gonzaga women’s basketball team’s season came to an end a little under a month ago, but for Spokane native Laura Stockton, it ended a bit earlier than expected.
“First I was like what was that. It felt so foreign to me,” said Stockton. “It felt like my leg had snapped in half. It was so weird. One second I was doing what I do and the next I was on the floor.”
Stockton was on the floor because she tore her ACL, ending her season and her Gonzaga career.
“It was interesting,” Stockton said of the surgery she had a few weeks ago.
“My family is pretty healthy so we don’t have a lot of surgeries often. It was kind of new for all of us. I’ve been at my parents house. They’ve been taking great care of me. It’s really nice that we’re all in Spokane. I’ve been just kind of bumming at their house. It’s fun for me, but I don’t know how much they’re enjoying it anymore,” she said with a giggle.
The senior did get to enjoy the NCAA Tournament with her squad as she was still able to travel with the injury.
“As I could get my leg to bend I said, ‘I want to sit at the front of the bench and be more involved.’ The coaches were totally cool with that and they let me be up there. I felt like I could still make an impact and my teammates were listening to me and doing what I was asking. It felt really good to have them respond to me in that way," Stockton said.
Her teammates also responded with something that Laura had been seeking her whole Gonzaga career: a win in the NCAA Tournament.
“I’ve talked about it all the time. I wanted to get to the tournament and I wanted to win games. That’s something I haven’t been shy about saying my whole career. So getting to do that was still really cool for me. I remember after the first game when we won I started crying because we did it. It was awesome," she said.
So the senior is hanging up her Gonzaga jersey with no remorse.
“I feel like I don’t have any regrets which is comforting, and I feel at peace with that. I think if you have this injury and you feel like you didn’t give everything you could then that would be really difficult. I don’t feel that way so that was comforting for me. I feel like my teammates know I gave them everything,” Stockton said.
She also is hanging up her Gonzaga jersey knowing she left the program better than how she found it.
“My freshman year we didn’t go the tournament. We didn’t win any type of championship and so for us to come this way to break records my senior year and to do things I haven’t done was really special," she said. "I feel like this program is just going to continue to keep getting better and grow."
That is also what Laura plans to do as she moves on to the next phase in her career.
“The plan is to just rehab and get back and continue to play," she said. "I think that was another thing going through my head as soon as I got hurt: ‘What do I want to do next?’ I’m not done so I want to keep playing and see what I can do.”
But for now she can take a look back, and see all the she has done.
“It’s been incredible. I love that I can share this with some of my family members. I love that I can share this with a lot of my teammates. I couldn’t imagine being somewhere else and having a different name on my jersey. This has been home for as long as I can remember, and it’s been an incredible ride," Stockton said.