Missouri State Women’s Basketball will be without assistant coach Jackie Stiles for the next several games as she undergoes treatment for ocular melanoma cancer (surrounding the eye area). According to the news release, the initial round of treatment will keep the Lady Bears icon away from the program “for at least three games.”
“Thankfully the cancer was caught early and has not spread, and I expect to make a full recovery,” Stiles said in a release. “I am grateful for any thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. I look forward to speaking publicly about this once I return to the team.”
Before beginning her coaching career at her alma mater, Stiles made history at not only Missouri State but in the national record books as well. She was the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history from 2001-17. She led Missouri State to the NCAA Final Four in 2001 and was historically the first player in Lady Bears history to be drafted by a WNBA Franchise.
“Jackie means so much to this program, university and community,” Lady Bears head coach Kellie Harper said in the release. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with Jackie and her family as she begins this treatment. We are confident she will make full recovery and we look forward to having her back with the team.”