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She’s back: Former Lynden Christian star Libby Stump is a Viking

The offensive machine returns to Washington with her eyes set on a championship

Libby Stump cuts the net after winning her second state championship with Lynden Christian High School against the Nooksack Valley Pioneers on March 5, 2022, at the Yakima Valley SunDome in Yakima, Wash. Stump scored a career-high 35 points and scored the go-ahead jumper in the closing seconds of overtime. // Photo courtesy of Libby Stump

Former University of Montana Grizzly and Lynden Christian star Libby Stump is returning to Washington to play for the Western Washington University women’s basketball team for the 2024-25 season. 

Stump started playing basketball at 5 years old. Through her development and training growing up, Stump sought out opportunities that might have seemed intimidating to her peers. 

“I played a lot against boys growing up and that helped my development because they’re just faster, quicker — you gotta be a little more creative to get a shot off,” Stump said. “Not being afraid to go and compete against boys was a really big part of my training growing up … and still is.”

There’s a stereotype that men are better than women in sports. Despite this, Stump used that as an opportunity to help her improve her skills.

“I think playing against boys was a great way to prepare for the college game [because] when you play against boys, you gotta be competitive, you gotta have a strong mindset,” Stump said. “You gotta bounce back from a loss and figure out a way to win, it builds a lot of good stuff in you when you play against boys — I’ve carried that on with me throughout my entire college career so far.” 

Stump’s hard work and dedication up to that point paid off. She finished her high school career winning two state championships, including scoring a career-high 35 points and making the game-winning baseline jump shot against the Nooksack Valley Pioneers in the 2022 1A State Championship. 

Western Washington University women’s basketball guard, Demi Dykstra made the assist to Stump, illustrating the chemistry they developed throughout high school and still have to this day. 

“From sophomore to junior year, we became friends off the court and we cared about each other so then we could care about each other on the court also,” Dykstra said. “As soon as she started taking off, I had full faith in her — she shoots [that] shot so many times a day … that’s an easy shot for her.” 

Stump Photo 4.jpg

Libby Stump locks in defensively versus Colorado State on Nov. 11, 2022, at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. Stump led her team in scoring with 15 points off the bench in an 82-58 loss. // Photo by Ryan Brennecke, courtesy of UMT Athletics

Stump went on to sign with the University of Montana Grizzlies where she ranked fourth on her team in scoring as a reserve during her true freshman season. She finished third on her team with 35 3-pointers made and became the first true freshman since Hollie Tyler in 2001-02 to play a full season and average 10 points per game in UMT program history. 

“She has one of the best midrange pull-up jumpers I’ve ever coached as a 25-year coach now,” head coach of Grizzlies basketball Brian Holsinger said. “She’s just a natural scorer, she can score over anybody … she’s hard to stop.” 

Watching from afar, Holsinger knew Stump could be something special.

“Everybody had told me about Libby, I watched her play in the summer against some of the best teams in the country during club basketball … and she continued to produce,” Holsinger said. “She just finds ways to be effective on the court, she’s such a high-character person.” 

Stump was having a solid start to her sophomore season until she suffered a season-ending ACL injury on Dec. 6, 2023, against the Loyola Marymount Lions.

“There’s a lot of days when your knee just really hurts, it’s a nine to 12-month recovery and you gotta keep your confidence — It’s a beast of an injury to come back from, but … if you have the right people around you, it makes it so much better,” Stump said. 

Stump entered the transfer portal following her sophomore season looking for a better environment than the one she left in Montana. 

“It’s like speed dating … you gotta move quick, you gotta be decisive, you gotta find out what you want,” Stump said.

The Vikings coaching staff identified Stump as a player that could fit seamlessly into their team.

“I think [Stump’s] versatile, I know she’s played some three at [Montana], some point guard and off-guard. I think the great thing about Libby is that she can score,” assistant coach Stacey Turrell said. “Putting her at the off-guard position frees her up to score for us, but she’s also a great ball handler.” 

Lady Griz vs. Wildcats

Libby Stump dribbles by Weber State defenders on Feb. 11, 2023, at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont. The Grizzlies won the game 65-48. // Photo by John Sieber, courtesy of UMT Athletics

Turrell has been watching and scouting Stump for the previous four years, including her performance against the Pioneers in the 2022 state championship. 

“I’ll never forget watching her in the state championship game her senior year and Libby had 25, 30 points and then there’s another kid who had 15 and someone had like two or three – it was overtime and it was like ‘Who’s going to get the ball?’” Turrell said. “Libby made the game-winning shot with three people on her … she just has those ‘I will not lose games.’” 

Even though Stump had 15 offers from programs, mostly D-I schools, Western’s pitches to Stump were the loudest and most supportive.

“Me and my family and a lot of people in Lynden worked hard to convince her to come here,” Dykstra said.

When Stump made her commitment to Western, Turrell could not have been happier knowing her and the rest of the Viking staff’s hard work for the previous four years had paid off in the end. 

“[She] got home and called us … she knew instantly. I cried a little bit when she committed,” Turrell said.

Growing up in a Christian home, Stump’s faith and values have guided her back home to a team that loves and supports her and is ready to win a championship.

“I think Western is completely capable and ready to win a national championship and that’s something I want to chase,” Stump said. 

Stump will join a Vikings team that finished the 2023-24 season 24-7, including a 62-56 loss in the West Regional Semifinals against the California State San Marcos Cougars. Stump will be reunited with Demi and Riley Dykstra, with eyes on winning a title, just like they did against the Cashmere Bulldogs at Lynden Christian in the 2020 1A State Championship.

Aiden Luhr

Aiden Luhr is a junior at Western and a sports reporter for The Front. He is a journalism news/editorial major and enjoys anything sports related. You can reach him at

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