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CHS grad Makana Stone will study and play basketball in England this year. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Makana Stone is taking her talents to the land of tea and crumpets.

Having graduated this spring from Whitman College, the former Coupeville High School hoops star headed to England in mid-September, where she’ll continue her classroom studies and hardcourt schoolings.

Stone, who earned a B.A. in Biology during her time in Walla Walla, will attend Loughborough University, located in Leicestershire county in the East Midlands.

While there she’ll work towards a Master’s in Exercise Physiology.

Stone used up her American college sports eligibility, playing four seasons at Whitman, where she finished as the #5 scorer and #2 rebounder in program history.

But while in England, she can play for her new school, which competes in a semi-professional league.

Games are currently planned to begin in January.

Loughborough, founded in 1909, boasts one of the more famous chancellors among English schools, with four-time Olympic medal winner Sebastian Coe leading the school since 2017.

Lord Coe, as he’s known these days, was a top middle-distance runner who claimed gold medals in the 1500 meters at both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

He set nine outdoor and three indoor world records, including a run of three new world records in 41 days back in 1979, then moved into politics as a member of Parliament.

Stone is no slouch herself, however.

One of the most dominant athletes to ever wear the red and black in Coupeville, and also one of the most kind and caring teammates I’ve ever written about, she was a standout soccer, basketball, and track and field star.

She won the first 28 races of her high school track career, a mark no other Wolf has approached, and finished her prep career with 84 wins and seven state meet medals.

And yet, the happiest I’ve ever seen her in an athletic moment involved someone else.

It came during her senior season, when she led teammates in collectively screaming their heads off as CHS freshman Danny Conlisk pulled off a stunning come-from-behind win in a major relay race.

Stone led the CHS basketball team to three-straight Olympic League titles and a trip to state, is the program’s #3 career scorer and (likely) #1 rebounder, and finally let Kacie Kiel get that career-ending locker room hug she so badly wanted and needed.

Klahowya’s basketball players, without telling their coach, brought Makana a Senior Night present, watched her go off for a super-efficient 20 and 20 in a huge Wolf win, and still exited with huge smiles on their face.

After high school, Stone tore up the hardwood at Whitman, making the most starts (92) in program history, helping the Blues go 94-20 and advance to the NCAA tourney three times between 2016-2020.

Whitman was hours away from playing in the Sweet 16 at this year’s tourney when COVID-19 shut down collegiate athletics.

Finishing her American college career with 1,337 points and 837 rebounds, Stone was the Northwest Conference MVP, was selected for the Beyond Sports Women’s Collegiate All-Star Game, and received All-Region and All-American honors.

She was also a nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year, a member of the NWC First Team All-Academic squad, and copped Whitman’s Mignon Borleske Award — the school’s highest athletic honor for a female athlete.

When she wasn’t torching the net, Stone participated in the Whitman College mentor program, was an ACE representative, and served as a member of the Whitman Elementary School Science Night Committee.

Using her time well, Coupeville’s progeny was also a presenter at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, while obtaining multiple internships.

Now, she’s off to England, after using her final Whitman interviews to rave about the skills of Blues teammates, praising the three-ball artistry of Mady Burdett with the same sparkle in her eye she always had when talking up fellow Wolves like Sylvia Hurlburt or Lindsey Roberts.

I’m calling it now. Give her two years and she’s the new Queen.

Look me in the eye. Am I lying?

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Makana Stone continues to reel in awards. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s still in the game.

Even though Coupeville’s Makana Stone graduated from Whitman College earlier this spring, her name keeps popping up every time an award is announced.

Earlier, the former Wolf was tabbed as the Northwest Conference women’s basketball MVP, won Whitman’s Mignon Borleske Award — the school’s highest athletic honor for a female athlete — and landed on the NWC All-Academic First Team.

Now, Stone has been nominated by Whitman for the big-time NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

She’s one of seven senior student/athletes across all sports honored by NWC officials.

The league’s senior female administrators will pare that list of seven down to one athlete, and announce their pick Tuesday, June 14.

Whether it’s Stone or a fellow athlete, the NWC selection enters the national competition, where the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee picks a top 30, with 10 athletes apiece from D1, D2, and D3.

The committee then selects a top three for each division, with one athlete eventually emerging as the ultimate winner.

Angela Mercurio, a triple jumper from the University of Nebraska, won the award in 2019, while Canisius College distance runner Mary Beth Riley claimed the inaugural honor back in 1991.

Two basketball players (Rebecca Lobo – University of Connecticut – 1995, and Nkolika Anosike – University of Tennessee – 2008) have previously won the award.

The NCAA Woman of the Year recognizes “graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.”

Stone finished her four-year run at Whitman having made the most starts of any female basketball player to ever attend the Walla Walla school.

She and her fellow Blues seniors went to the NCAA tourney three times in four seasons, won a league title, and captured more wins than any group in program history.

When Stone wasn’t flying down the court, slapping layups high off the glass or rejecting rival shots, she was a standout in the classroom and the community.

Coupeville’s progeny was part of the Whitman College mentor program, an ACE representative, and a member of the Whitman Elementary School Science Night Committee.

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Natasha Bamberger, Coupeville legend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Apparently Whidbey Island ends at the midway point.

The website SB Live Washington has been busy compiling lists of its picks for the best athletes to come out of each of the state’s counties, with Island County’s female stars honored Thursday.

And, despite being the smallest of the three high schools on Whidbey, Coupeville netted two of the five slots, with Natasha Bamberger and Makana Stone joining Oak Harbor grads Marti Malloy, Chalise Baysa, and Missy McIntyre.

South Whidbey High School, on the other hand, got shafted, with the most notable omission being Lindsey Newman.

You know, the fearsome Falcon who won three consecutive 2A state tennis titles from 2007-2009, scored a billion points on the basketball hardwood, and is now a professional pickleball player.

Oh, that Lindsey Newman.

But, while Falcon Nation will rightfully have its collective feelings hurt, Wolf Nation has plenty to celebrate.

Bamberger was a five-time state champ for CHS in the ’80s, winning four track titles and a cross country crown, before going on to be world-class ultramarathoner.

Stone, who just wrapped up a stellar college hoops career at Whitman College, dominated in soccer, basketball, and track and field during her time as a Wolf.

To see the full story, and vote in a poll to select the best of the five nominees, pop over to:

Here are the best female athletes to come out of Island County, Washington

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Makana Stone, forever a force of nature. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Every bucket, every rebound, every moment of on-court brilliance built to this.

Two days after graduating from Whitman College, Coupeville’s Makana Stone received her school’s highest athletic honor Tuesday morning.

The former Wolf, who finished as the #5 scorer and #2 rebounder in Blues women’s basketball history, received the Mignon Borleske Award.

The honor recognizes a graduating senior student-athlete for “their career athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus and community as a whole.”

Stone shared the honor with Blues tennis player Andrea Gu, a three-time All-American.

Robert Colton, a Whitman men’s basketball star, received the R.V. Borleske Award, which is given to the school’s top male athlete.

The winners receive a plaque, while their names are added to a display in the athletic department’s Hall of Fame.

The awards are named for a couple who arrived on campus in 1915, then had a huge impact on the growth of the school.

Raymond Borleske, a former Whitman football and baseball player, became a long-time coach, while Mignon Borleske taught dance and women’s education classes at the school for nearly 40 years.

Stone, a 2016 CHS grad, became a starter for the Blues midway through her freshman season, and rarely left the court after that.

She finished with the most starts (92) in program history, and she and fellow seniors Mady Burdett, Lily Gustafson, Natalie Whitesel, and Katie Stahl compiled a 94-20 record during their time in Walla Walla.

That was the most wins for a graduating class in the long and prestigious history of Whitman women’s basketball.

Their success included three trips to the NCAA D-III national tourney, and Whitman was hours away from playing in the Sweet 16 at this year’s event when COVID-19 shut down collegiate athletics.

Stone finished her run in a Blues uniform with 1,337 points and 837 rebounds.

She was named the Northwest Conference MVP as a senior, was selected for the Beyond Sports Women’s Collegiate All-Star Game, and received All-Region and All-American honors.

When she wasn’t excelling on the hardwood, Stone participated in the Whitman College mentor program, was an ACE representative, and served as a member of the Whitman Elementary School Science Night Committee.

Using her time well, Coupeville’s progeny was also a presenter at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, while obtaining multiple internships.

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Coupeville’s Makana Stone had a very-successful four-year run as a college basketball player. (Photo property Whitman Athletic Department)

Whitman College kicked off its inaugural Senior Awards Series for athletics Wednesday, and the first honor had a Coupeville connection.

The Blues women’s basketball squad, led by former Wolf Makana Stone, was tabbed as the winner of the George Ball Award.

That honor is awarded to one team which best “represents the mission of Whitman College and the athletics department and that demonstrates one or more of the ideals of sportsmanship, including fairness, civility, honesty, respect, and responsibility.”

Stone and Co. went 26-3 this season, won the Northwest Conference regular season crown with a 15-1 mark, and were preparing to play in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA D-III tourney when the COVID-19 pandemic closed down college sports.

Coupeville’s progeny ended her four-year run in Walla Walla by being named league MVP, followed by notching All-Region and All-American honors.

Whitman will continue to hand out awards in virtual ceremonies each day through May 26.

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