By Mike Hogan
Courtney Stockard is no stranger to adversity.
The junior-transfer forward has suffered not one, but two major foot injuries that have kept him out for his first two seasons so far here at St. Bonaventure University. The addition of Stockard a few seasons ago brought along a lot of hype, but the momentum was halted by injury setbacks.
That is, until Stockard returned to the court last Saturday in an exhibition win against Alfred University. Stockard scored 20 points and shot 6-7 from the field, while adding a steal in his first on-court action in 32 months.
Reporter Mike Hogan sat down with Stockard to discuss his journey back and his vision for his remaining time at St. Bonaventure.
Your Bonaventure career has previously been put on hold due to two serious foot injuries, what were these setbacks like for you and what did you learn about yourself?
Stockard: I learned how mentally tough I am. Sitting out for two years, watching the team has made me mentally tough and let me see the game from a different perspective.
What was the rehab process like during both injuries?
Stockard: It was a very long process. I’m glad that I’ve gotten through it. I’m glad it’s over, and I’m glad that I’m able to go back out there and compete.
What is one thing that you want to tell the fans that may think that you’re not the same player anymore after going through these injuries?
Stockard: Just that I’ve put in the work. I have faith in the process, and I have faith in my skill set. I put in enough work to help me get back to that player I once was.
In what ways are you looking to contribute to this year’s squad?
Stockard: I just want to be the guy that will give us a lift on defense. I want to be able to take some of the scoring burden off of Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley when they are getting keyed in on. I’ll just bring energy to the floor.
Now that you are back and healthy, what are you looking to accomplish overall during the rest of your time here at Bonaventure? And what do you think about the higher expectations for this team?
Stockard: My biggest goal is getting to the tournament with this group of guys. We want to develop that brotherhood, it’s a team goal. We’re thankful that everyone is realizing the talent that we have, but we don’t really feed into it. We’ve kept the same mindset that we’ve had in the past. We just have to stay hungry and treat it like we’re ranked last.