Stokes moves into post-Aurora era
Oswego East alum Kalmon Stokes recently finished up his undergraduate days as he best knows — by winning.
Last month, not long after graduating from Aurora University, the two-sport star was named the school's Spartan Man of the Year for the 2015-16 academic year.
Stokes graduated with a degree in criminal justice with a minor in business, and is weighing his options on where to achieve his master's, he told the Will County Gazette.
“I'm just keeping my options open,” he said. “I'm taking the (Graduate Record Examination) soon so in case if I decide to go into kinesiology, I'll have the GRE for that. But I'm leaning toward the business side right now. But we'll see once I take the GRE, because if I take it and do good on it, then I'll probably go for kinesiology”
Wherever Stokes lands next, sports will remain a part of his plans. Stokes said he does have eligibility left in indoor track and field, which means he can add even more accolades to his college accomplishments.
On the basketball court at Aurora, Stokes finished 16th in school history with 1,303 points and also had 621 career rebounds. Last season, his final one as a Spartan, Stokes averaged 15 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, earning All-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Second Team honors.
Almost immediately after the end of the basketball season, Stokes joined the Aurora track and field team at the NACC Indoor Championships and promptly won the 400-meter dash and ran the second leg of the Spartans' first-place 4x400 relay team.
That all set the table for his outdoor-track season, in which he earned NCAA Division III All-American honors both in the 400 dash (third place, 47.22 seconds) and 400 hurdles (third, 51.50). His other honors during the outdoor season included being named All-Region in the 400 hurdles by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and winning the NACC titles in the 400 dash and 400 hurdles and being part of the winning 4x400 relay team.
Even with the end of his Aurora career, Stokes isn't slowing down. He said he would also like to run in some outdoor events as an unattached competitor in the future, as well as do some coaching, in addition to using his remaining indoor-track eligibility.
“I've been training right now so I'm getting in the best shape I can right now so that way, I'm ready for it when I have to go to a school," he said. "So if I pick one and I'm able to go there I'll be in shape already."
Stokes said he wants to get his training license by end of summer to become a personal trainer as a side job to start, and he intends to try out for the 2020 Olympics.
The confidence he gained from being a sports standout has bled over into his academic career, he said.
“I wasn't really a good test taker coming into college,” he said. “I feel like the confidence in track and basketball allowed me to be confident in taking tests and everything else, and be confident in answering questions, asking questions.”