Chante Stonewall grew up playing nearly every kind of sport.
“My dad decided I was going to do everything because we didn’t know yet what I would be good at,” laughs the 21-year-old senior.
It turns out she was good at everything: track, gymnastics, basketball, hurdling. She even beat out a three-time defending champion for first place in hurdling while in middle school. “All this stuff was crazy. I didn’t know I was that good. I was just doing it because they told me to do it going into high school,” Stonewall says.
As a student at University High School in Normal, Ill., where Stonewall grew up as the third child and only daughter of Shun and Evelyn Stonewall, she was the only freshman allowed to play on the varsity basketball team. She quickly landed a starting spot.
That was where Blue Demons basketball coach Doug Bruno (LAS ’73, MA ’88) initially saw her and began recruiting her for the DePaul women’s program. Seven years later, she serves as a senior co-captain (along with Kelly Campbell). As a junior, she was voted by opposing coaches onto the 2018-19 All-BIG EAST Team.
Last March, the Blue Demons trailed Marquette most of the night at the BIG EAST Tournament championship game at Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square. Stonewall scored on a three-point play with five seconds left to give DePaul an electrifying 74-73 victory over Marquette as exuberant students and fans stormed the court after the final buzzer.
“One of my highlights was winning the BIG EAST championship two years in a row because that’s hard to do. Of course, the shot made it all that much more special,” she says.
The 6-foot-1 forward, who averaged 14.3 points and 6.6 rebounds while leading the team in blocked shots and field goal percentage, also competed in the USA Basketball 3×3 (Three on Three) National Tournament in Las Vegas with three other teammates last May.
For his part, Bruno has seen tremendous development in Stonewall. “It’s been really exciting to watch Chante grow and improve into a true leader and player of this basketball team,” he says.
“One of my highlights was winning the BIG EAST championship two years in a row because that’s hard to do. Of course, the shot made it all that much more special.”
The psychology and sociology double major has also maintained top grades. “I was proud of myself for being able to maintain such high academics while playing basketball because it’s hard to manage school academics and workouts,” says Stonewall, who has received the Shirley Becker Academic Award (3.5 GPA or higher) the past three years. She also pointed out with pride that the Blue Demons were ranked in the Top 25 nationally on the court and in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association academic poll.
Last summer, Stonewall snagged the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions internship, during which she helped manage the company’s interscholastic and club tournaments in Chicago. She was also a counselor at both the Doug Bruno Girls Basketball Camp at North Central College and Fred’s Camp, which is based at DePaul.
Looking to the future, Stonewall hasn’t ruled out sports management or psychology. “The ball is eventually going to stop dribbling. What’s next?” she says.
But her ultimate dream is to play professionally in the WNBA. “Now I’m in the position to make that happen. It’s a big year for me, that’s for sure,” she says.