Swarthmore senior Kathryn Stockbower

Amy Hughes,

Doubles have become quite routine for Kathryn Stockbower.

The Swarthmore College senior has a double major in biology and German studies, and checks in with a 3.84 cumulative grade-point average.

Through Feb. 9, she had 81 double-doubles in her collegiate career, setting a Division III all-time record. Since her first game at Swarthmore, there have only been 15 games that she did not record a double-double.

“From a coaching perspective, the consistency is amazing,” said Swarthmore head coach Renee DeVarney. “Each year, the team as a whole has gotten better. We had to rely on Kathryn for everything her freshman year; now it has spread around a lot more.”

Stockbower is nothing if not consistent. She scored 422 points as a freshman, 443 as a sophomore and 442 as a junior. Although her per-game scoring average has dipped from 17.7 in each of her first three years to 15.4 this year, she has helped the Garnet (13-9) take aim at their first postseason appearance since 2008.

Stockbower set the NCAA Division III double-double record on Feb. 5 with an 18-point, 10-rebound performance at Johns Hopkins. She broke the record on the home court of the previous record holder, Hopkins alum Julie Anderson, who held the former record since 1998 with 79 career double-doubles.

“It was really exciting,” Stockbower said of setting the double-doubles record. “It’s a huge honor to have something go down in the record books. It’s not anything that I would have ever expected to accomplish in my college career.”

“People always have goals of scoring 1,000 points or being the all-time leading scorer in their school’s history,” DeVarney said. “This (the double-doubles record) is not really something anybody really dreams about their freshman and sophomore year. It’s still a little bit surreal because it’s not one of those popular milestones, but I’m sure that in a few months we’ll look back and say ‘Holy cow. What an amazing accomplishment.’”

Stockbower’s long list of statistical accomplishments includes some of those mainstream milestones.

She is Swarthmore’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,289 boards, and has 1,641 career points to rank fourth all-time in Garnet history. She has also posted double-figure points in 74 consecutive games, a Centennial Conference record.

Stockbower is one of three players in program history with 1,000 career points and rebounds. More impressive, she is one of only three players in Centennial Conference history with both 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Her head coach is quick to point out that Stockbower’s accomplishments do not end on the hardwood. Last week, Stockbower was named to the 2011 CoSIDA Academic All-District II first team, making her an academic All-America candidate.

“She’s brilliant, and everybody up on campus knows what a hard worker she is,” DeVarney said. “Kathryn is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’ll get one. Last year, I told Kathryn she needed to apply to be a Rhodes Scholar. She fits the criteria in every way and I’m sure she would have been a top candidate, but she just said ‘Coach, I don’t see myself studying in England for a couple of years.’ So she’s being really modest when she talks about her academics. She really is a top-notch student.”

“Ultimately, I would like to go to medical school, so I’m leaning more towards the biology side of things,” Stockbower said. “The German Studies is more of an interest and a passion of mine. I don’t know that I’ll necessarily wind up doing much with it, but I’m taking a year between graduation and going to medical school. I’m hoping to wind up in Germany, potentially teaching English next year.”

DeVarney’s evaluation of what has made Stockbower such a force to reckon with at Swarthmore is delivered with confidence.

“People have asked me, is Kathryn the best player I’ve ever coached,” said DeVarney. “Well, no. She’s not. I’ve coached some really high-level athletes, but she is the best at the day-to-day work ethic every single day. I think we take that for granted sometimes. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day or you’re sick or whatever happened to you, you can just bring it every day.”

That work ethic has translated into an unparalleled consistency on and off the court.

“She has been so amazingly consistent since her freshman year, that we just know Kathryn is going to get a double-double, and if everyone else does all right, we may win as a team or not,” DeVarney said. “The consistency is really what is very impressive to me. If I could always have a player that consistent, I would love it. She’s a very hard worker, very level-headed emotionally and her day-to-day work ethic is incredible.”

“I think that if you work hard day-in and day-out you’re always going to be prepared when the game comes,” Stockbower said. “There’s also a certain level of mental preparation that is really important. Just really being able to focus and come in to every game with a high level of intensity is important for me.”

Stockbower’s intensity and talents have allowed DeVarney to remove rebounding drills from Swarthmore’s practices.

“At the Division III level you have to pick and choose some of the things that you spend a lot of time practicing because you just don’t have a lot of time,” DeVarney said. “We don’t practice rebounding. Kathryn has a knack of going to get the ball. We also don’t run a lot of plays for her because she scores off of her rebounding. It’s really her keen insight into where the ball is going to bounce and then being strong enough to fend off everyone who is always trying to beat her up every single game.”

These days, Stockbower is frequently double- and triple-teamed on the court. Her numbers still haven’t dropped.

Maybe it’s because she views her rebounding duties with an analytical eye.

“I’ve been playing basketball for such a long time now that it’s just one of those gradual progressions,” Stockbower said. “In high school, my role on the team wasn’t so much a scorer as a rebounder, so I started to build a foundation for becoming one of the top rebounders ... In terms of technique, I think it does have a lot to do with desire, but positioning is key as well. That’s something that I don’t know that I consciously work on it, but I always try to get into the spot where I think the ball is going to go no matter what.”

Three games remain on Swarthmore’s regular-season schedule. Stockbower will be honored on Saturday as part of senior day festivities against Franklin & Marshall. The team’s final home game will take place against Bryn Mawr on Feb. 16 and the Garnet will close at Haverford on Feb. 19 with their eye on the Feb. 23 start to the Centennial Conference Tournament.

Stockbower may continue to add to her double-doubles record, but she has already solidified her double impact on Swarthmore, both academically and athletically.