Compared to men’s basketball, women’s basketball often gets less attention and less fans in the arena. Though smaller in number, the women’s team has picked up some very dedicated fans. One of them is Stephanie Russell.
At every home game for the Spartans, Russell is the one standout voice that you can hear throughout the entire game.
Junior center Jasmine Hines said she likes hearing Russell while she is out on the court.
“She’s awesome. You hear her when we’re running into the locker room out of the locker room, behind the bench like ‘I love you Jasmine.’ It’s just really cool to have that support and know that we mean so much to her,” Hines said. “She means a lot to us.”
Not only does Russell come excited and full of enthusiasm, but she also comes completely decked out in Spartan gear. Even down to green nails with basketballs painted on them. She is a true fanatic.
“You notice that that’s Stephanie. You say ‘Hey Stephanie!’ and then you give her a hug and have a conversation with her,” senior Klarissa Bell said. “She’s still been like just as encouraging to me from my freshman year and just knowing that she’s just been here for so many years.”
Stephanie has come to every basketball game for 14 years. She has attended every basketball banquet for 10 years straight. She has also attended every volleyball game, except one, for the past four years.
Not only does Stephanie support the team, but the team supports Stephanie.
Last year for Russell’s 21st birthday, the entire team went to her birthday party. There is also a picture of Russell in the women’s locker room.
As for her favorite player, Russell stated that everyone is her favorite.
Anyone can tell that she is not only a huge MSU fan, but also an even bigger MSU women’s basketball fan. Her excited and energetic spirit really brings a smile to everyone’s face and she is the true definition of a fanatic.
Jennifer Aldridge is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Scott Wasserman/Impact Sports