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Cydney Stables is an athlete from Oregon, who, despite being from a small town, was recruited to play not one, but two sports at the collegiate level. Cydney is in her Freshman year as a basketball player and golfer for the NAIA school, Graceland University. This feat speaks to her athletic talent, but she is a success off the court as well. By the time Cydney started her Freshman season, she had been awarded enough scholarships to pay for her complete undergraduate degree, all while running her own floral arrangement business. In this interview, she talks about the craziness of it all, and where she accredits her successes.
Cydney’s story starts in 3rd grade, when she first fell in love with basketball. From then on, she spent every year training to get to where she is now: on Graceland University’s basketball team. Like most high school athletes hoping to continue their career in college, Cydney worked at it from a very young age.
Her story doesn’t end there, however; during her senior year of high school, the golf coach asked her to join the team “just for fun.” She competed at the state level, emailed Graceland’s golf coach, and became a dual-sport college athlete.
Being a dual-sport athlete at the college level is very grueling: “It was extremely busy, but I was able to manage it and… juggle things. The biggest thing was just communicating with the coaches and really just chalkboard out my schedule to figure out what I need to do.”
Cydney says a big part of being a dual-sport athlete is setting clear boundaries and “drawing that line… I pretty much said basketball was my primary sport.” And they’re okay with that.
Cydney picked Graceland because it checks all the boxes: small school, basketball, and agriculture programs. She is majoring in Agribusiness and Sustainability, and she accredits much of her success on the court/green to her experiences in agriculture. As a past FFA and 4H member, Cydney learned valuable skills and lessons about hard work and dedication: “I dedicate all of my leadership, the person I am today, all of my character, and everything to those two organizations [FFA and 4H].”
In addition to her two majors, Cydney is also minoring in plant and animal sciences. A florist herself, this was a perfect fit for her. While in high school, Cydney launched her own floral arrangement business: Flowers by Cydney. This business has continued into college. So, while competing in the golf Fall season, practicing basketball preseason, and taking a heavy course load, Cydney was also flying home some weekends to complete arrangements for various event bookings.
If you’re like me, you’re probably still stuck on: “she got how many scholarships???”
Cydney says: “I do have pretty much all of my college paid for on scholarship, and honestly, it was a lot of hard work. I had been applying for scholarships starting October of my senior year through May… I think it helped that I was majoring in three different programs… and plan to get my Master’s in education, so that opened up more scholarship opportunities… I just kept applying… and I was fortunate enough that my extracurriculars, my sports, and my academics backed me up.”
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* Originally published on January 20, 2022, by Jaime Evers