Five-foot-8-inch freshman point guard Georgia Stirton is more than meets the eye.
Stirton accomplished SWAC (Scenic West Athletic Conference) Player of the Week this season and received an academic award for attaining a 3.0 or higher GPA last semester.
Stirton is from Melbourne, Australia, a population of about 4 million people to Coeur d’Alene’s 45,000. But Stirton said the speed of the game and the quality of play in the United States surpasses that of Australia’s.
“Playing basketball at NIC is just faster,” Stirton said. “People are fundamentally better. The defense is so in-depth and precise versus back home, but competition wise they’re about the same.”
Stirton has been playing basketball for about 15 years. She grew up playing with her older brother who taught her the game.
Stirton grew up around gyms and stadiums so as soon as she was able to play, she did.
“My brother was a point guard so playing against him was always very competitive,” Stirton said.
Stirton made the All-Star team in 10th grade. She also was nominated league point guard in her club basketball league and for her ball handling was named “Golden Hands.” In addition, she won a national championship at the age of 16.
“She is a very skilled point guard,” said head coach Chris Carlson. “When we first watched her, she had great ball handling skills with both hands. So anytime you have a point guard with those skills is something special.”
Stirton averages around nine points a game and has a personal goal to win a national championship with NIC.
She also wants to keep getting better by limiting her turnovers and improve her stats by averaging 12 points a game and six assists.
“She also has the ability to score a lot,” Carlson said. “So offensively, she’s as skilled as you can find, something that will really benefit her basketball future. She’s worked hard at being able to go right and left. She’s really upped our tempo in games. She’s doing a great job.”
Stirton would like to extend her basketball career after her playing days at NIC.
“I would like to go to a four-year school, but I’m not really thinking about it right now,” Stirton said. “But eventually I will.”
Stirton still has a year left at NIC and is thankful for her family’s support.
She said it was hard being away from her family at first but eventually she got used to it.
Her family helped her get adjusted in Coeur d’Alene. Her dad came out here with her to help get her started, and her mom will be here soon for a visit.
Stirton seems to have adjusted just fine on the basketball court.