On a Mission: Hoops on Fire basketball camp,
making a difference

Gary Franklin

Former Milan Lady Indian basketball player, Kelly Stutler, seemingly had everything going her way. Shortly after graduation, Kelly went on to pursue a women’s basketball scholarship at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri, where she was faced with the reminder, that life’s journey does not promise to be without obstacles, as health issues began changing her life.

Hoops On Fire Basketball CampersGARY FRANKLIN PHOTO
Pictured above, some of the attending Friday evening, On a Mission: Hoops on Fire basketball campers assemble along the Indiana state outline on the Milan High School gym floor for a photo.


A vibrant and enthusiastic young lady with a passion for basketball and love for her Lord and fellowman went quickly from a bundle of energy to being temporarily confined to a wheelchair. Before this, life seemed perfect, but it was through these times Stutler learned there is more to life than just living on the hardwood. Fortunately, Kelly and her family were grounded in faith of an Almighty God and the salvation offered through trusting and believing in Jesus Christ, allowing them to face each day with a positive attitude and live one day at a time. Many months passed while in the semi-paralytic condition with few indications as to what was causing the paralysis, although tested, their faith continued to grow. Friends, the community, churches, and countless others prayed for resolve and healing in Kelly’s life and God listened to the plea, and as quietly as it came, so the obstacles eventually passed. Resolved to further dedicate herself to His service, Kelly has begun serving Christ and helping to win others to His magnificent grace. Unable to compete in basketball, Kelly ambitiously sought other avenues to use her knowledge of basketball and love of God to a positive resolve. This came as an instructor and educator relaying a message through the sport of basketball as well as serving a risen Savior in Jesus Christ.

Partnering with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the Pat Summitt Foundation she held a three day girls basketball camp at the Milan High School gym, called “On a Mission: Hoops on Fire” girls’ basketball camp! Close to 100 girls attended the camp, which began on Friday evening, March 14, continued Saturday, March 15 from 9-5 and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. with a worship service before the camp resumed to its completion.

Friends Courtney Moses (Purdue point guard) and Shanna Zolman (former Tennessee Lady Vol. and current FCA representative), HS and college friends, family members and others joined Stutler in her effort to positively influence youth in the area.

Many area sponsors helped to support the educational and instructional camp effort so it could be more accessible to many of the area youth. Several other volunteers helped with the event whose names are not listed. All were extremely important to camp's success.




Pick up this week's The Versailles Republican for the Milan and Jac-Cen-Del spring sports schedules.