ISU’s Stephanie Soares was motivated to shine in her only season at Ames

AMES — Iowa basketball player Stephanie Soares uses a Sharpie to write an important message on one of her wrists before each game: AO1. It is audience of one. It’s a reminder of who Soares is playing for.

“It plays for God,” Soares said.

The pregame tradition, started during her senior season at Master’s University, helps Soares calm down and relax. Faith has always been an important part of her life.

“She believes that her God-given talent or what she has is a gift,” said Bill Fennelly, Iowa State coach. “And she’s like, ‘I’m going to use this.'”

Flight of fancy inspired by God and basketball

Soares grew up in Brazil and learned about God and basketball.

Her father, Rogerio, played at The Master’s, a Christian college in California. Her mother Susan played in Texas. When their playing careers ended, they stayed in football and worked as missionaries with Athletes in Action, a global organization that helps athletes grow in their faith.