Steins is leaving her mark on Parkway South girls basketball program
By: Warren Mayes
Parkway South’s Becca Steins has topped 1,000 points in her Patriots basketball career and she could wind up among the top scorers in school history.
Coach Thomas Williams said it’s possible that Steins could end up second on the all time list behind Amy Belew, who played from 1999 to 2002. Belew ended with 1,520 points. She already is the school’s rebounding leader.
What the 6-foot Steins has done is huge accomplishment, Williams said.
“It is more impressive in that she essentially did it in three years,” Williams said. “(In) Her freshman season, she was hurt and only scored 39 points, so to do it with in her senior year is impressive.”
The magic figure of 1,000 points is something she wanted to achieve, Steins said.
“Scoring 1,000 is a testament to how hard I’ve worked in my past to get to where I am now,” Stein said. “Just reaching the milestone has been a dream of mine since I was younger and watched amazing players get recognized for this achievement. Now, I have this awesome opportunity to be acknowledged alongside them and that really means something special to me.”
The big bucket came when the Patriots were playing visiting Mehlville. Parkway South scored a 55-32 victory.
“It was a really emotion-filled game for me because a lot of people came out to celebrate,” Steins said. “I made a layup off of a rebound to get my 1,000th point and it was almost surreal. It was also a huge relief because I felt like all this pressure was off my shoulders and now I could focus all my attention on winning the game.
“Getting 1,000 (points) has been my goal since I made varsity my freshman year and watched Caitlin Wagner get her 1,000 points and how special that was to her.”
With several games remaining plus the postseason, it’s possible Steins could end up No. 2 all-time at Parkway South. She has three games left to play beginning with Tuesday’s (Feb. 12) game at Fox before postseason play begins Feb. 28.
“I would love to end up second,” Steins said. “It’s always nice to set a goal and have the support from your teammates to reach it. I’ve never had the chance to meet Amy Belew, even though I would love to.”
Steins said she has gotten good help from her teammates as she approached the milestone figure.
“My teammates were so supportive, keeping me calm and focused at practice and during games to help me reach my goal,” Steins said. “It’s just as much an achievement for them as it is for me as I could never have gotten there without their support.”
Steins earned her accomplishment, Williams said.
“When a player reaches a 1,000 points it is a testament to having a solid multiyear career at the varsity level,” Williams said. “Becca has played with great teammates that get her the ball in the right spot.”
Steins sees herself as more than a scorer. In fact, she prides herself on her defense.
“As a player, I focus on consistency. I want to be an impact on both ends of the courts but defense is my favorite,” Steins said. “Coach Williams makes sure we live by the motto offense comes from defense and that’s the type of player I strive to be. I would consider myself a strong rebounder and sometimes I get in trouble for my shot blocking — it’s just too much fun sometimes.
“But I consider my biggest strength to be my leadership. I take pride in being a player that my teammates can look to for guidance. And my play reflects that. Scoring is always nice but being someone that can change the course of the game is the greatest reward.”
Steins is co-captain with Molly Ray, Williams said.
“Becca is encouraging to her teammates while in the game or on the bench,” Williams said. “Becca learned how to conduct herself on the court and in practice with the help of the upperclassman when she was younger such as Caitlin Wagner, Brittany Willis and Natalie Williams to name a few. She is passing that down to the younger girls in the program.”
Rebounding is one what to help change the game as it keeps the ball away from the other team. Steins cherishes being the top rebounder at Parkway South.
“Being the schools all-time leading rebounder record holder is amazing,” Steins said. “I actually had no idea I had broken it until my dad told me about it four days later. But rebounding can make or break a game and I guess I’ve done my fair share of helping my team out on the boards.
Steins broke the single season rebounding record last year as a junior.
“That was awesome, too,” Steins said.
She has been playing basketball since she was in first grade. Steins was on her first travel AAU team by the third grade.
“From there, basketball was just a huge part of my life,” Steins said. “I always wanted to be a soccer player, but people kept telling my dad that I had a future in basketball and from then on out, I was a basketball player. I love the intensity that basketball has and how you have to work your hardest the entire game, both ends of the court.
“There’s something special about being besides four of your closest friends, working towards one common goal and achieving that. No other sport has the same passion and dedication that a basketball player has to have.”
For the rest of the season, the Patriots have one common theme: districts, sectionals, and then state.
“In all four years here, we haven’t had the potential to go as far as we have this year,” Steins said. “I’ve got two district titles under my belt and I know there’s something different about this year. Something special.”
Steins made the varsity as a freshman.
“To be honest, there was an adjustment to the intensity of high school and the level of conditioning we do,” Williams said. “Her nickname that coach Mike Rinehardt gave her was ‘Big Baby.’ We knew she had the potential to be a special player as a freshman as long as she kept playing in the summer and working on her game.
“Becca got stronger and with the help of Matt Rockamann in the summer and her dad’s coaching she has become one of the better players to come through the program.”
Steins remembers the nickname.
“(My) Freshman year I was a big baby,” Steins said. “I was always hurt; I didn’t have the drive that I do now. I’ve definitely outgrown that nickname in my eyes. It was funny but it was also motivation to work harder and prove myself.”
Steins has done that. She credits her coaches with her success.
“Coach Williams has been awesome. He’s taken my game to a whole new level and taught me what it’s like to work hard,” Steins said. “Stephanie Sparks was the first coach to teach me how to be a true basketball player and Danny and Heywood from the North Stars gave me every post move in my book. But the true work came from Matt Rockamann and coach Poth from the Rockets. I’ve been with them since fifth grade and they have taught me everything.”
It hasn’t jus been basketball for Steins. She’s also a volleyball player for the Patriots.
“I have played varsity volleyball since freshman year and I loved it,” Steins said. “Coach Carrie Steele has been instrumental in my development as a person and an athlete.”
The improvement has come in Steins every year on the basketball court, Williams said.
“Each year she has added a dimension to her game that has led her to this point,” Williams said. “She has been on two district championship team’s and she could be the first player at South to ever win three districts if we happen to win this year.”
Winning the first district title was important for Steins.
“Winning districts as a freshman was a life-changing experience,” Steins said. “But winning districts last year is by far the greatest moment of my life. Coming in after losing to Lafayette by 30 the week before and winning by 12 was truly incredible. I look forward to feeling that same joy this year.”
teins will continue to play basketball. She is going to Truman State for college and will play there in Kirksville.
“Truman was the first school to recruit me and I loved it so much from the first moment,” Steins said. “The coaches are incredible and the girls are awesome. They are currently ranked 20th in the nation and I’m so excited to go into the program next year and make an impact. It’s just an amazing school overall.”
Her high school career is almost over.
“These past four years have been crazy,” Steins said. “I’ve watched seniors go every year, sad for them but always thinking in the back of my mind, at least there’s next year for me. And now I can’t say that.
“It’s upsetting but I know I’ve left my mark on the program and I will always look back at my time here as some of the best basketball I’ve ever played.”
As for Williams, will he miss having Steins playing after this season?
“Ask me next year,” Williams said. “Honestly, she will be hard to replace and we will miss her on and off the court.”