Shining Stars: Brandywine’s Mia Stella

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last spring, the Brandywine Lady Cats basketball team played their hearts out on the same court on which some of the country’s best basketball players have played.

As the buzzer sounded in Breslin Arena, Mia Stella, then a junior, was surrounded by players and coaches she has come to know as a second family. While the Bobcats did not come out on top of the state semi-finals, the now 18-year-old remembers that day as one of her fondest memories.

“[Playing at Breslin] was really crazy because it was our goal from the start,” Mia said. “We pushed each other and we went out there and did the best that we could. That’s all you can do, and we made a lot of great memories.”

Through the past three seasons on the varsity girls basketball team, Mia has felt the comradery that comes with building a team over a number of years.

“I learned to be a team player. We all had each other’s backs,” she said.

The support of the community was parallel to the tight-knit squad’s support for each other.

“One really great thing about Brandywine is that we’re small,” she said. “People that you don’t know read about you in the paper and they’ll come up and congratulate you on your success. I just love how open the community is.”

Mia was chosen as homecoming queen for football season, and has played defense in soccer for as long as she can remember.

“It’s the one sport I know I can play without worrying,” she said. “I don’t put so much pressure on myself because I’ve done it since I was in kindergarten.”

Mia said being a three-sport athlete — volleyball, basketball and soccer — has helped shape her as a person in a way she would not have anticipated.

“It’s really put me out there to meet all different kinds of people in our school,” she said. “Now I can help others be the best they can be. It gave me a purpose, and it’s just a really good opportunity to have and get the best out of high school.”

With a full plate of athletics in addition to being president of National Honors Society and keeping good grades, Mia has found one of her biggest challenges to be giving herself a break.

“I’ve learned to push myself and work really hard to get where I want to be, and it’s helping me be a better person because I hold myself to a high standard,” she said. “But I’ve learned to not put too much pressure on myself but push myself to achieve all the goals I want to achieve.”

After high school, Mia plans to attend Western Michigan University to major in biology and hopefully enroll in the school’s physician assistant program.

“I’ve always wanted to go into something that would help people,” she said. “I thought about being a doctor, but that’s a lot of schooling.”