By Xander Swain
Alyssa Williams has been playing basketball for nearly 16 years, but to her, it’s more than just a sport, it’s a “source of release.” More than that, basketball has also helped shape her as a leader.
Junior double major in history and communication studies with a minor in philosophy, Williams is also a part of the Montevallo women’s basketball team and is an active student on campus.
With the end of UM’s basketball historic season, Williams talked about her time at Montevallo.
“Basketball made me into a more compassionate person I feel because I was always thinking about ways to help my teammates shine and be their best person on the floor,” said Williams.
As a rising senior, Williams always stresses the importance of teamwork.
She said, “We want to win, obviously, but most importantly, we want to have a good team. Teamwork is a big part of UM basketball and if we continue to work together on and off the court as we always have, then success is sure to follow.”
She added, “At this point, I can’t wait for us to come back next season and show everyone that this year wasn’t a fluke – this year was the blueprint for the future of UM women’s basketball.”
Although Williams is an athlete, she is a student first.
When not playing basketball, she balances her time between her hobbies, being president for Montevallo’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, co-director for the Montevallo Catholic Campus Ministry, peer tutor at the Learning Enrichment Center and member of multiple honor societies.
“As you might imagine, it is a balancing act. Time management is a huge part of my life, but I love everything I get to do. I have a huge heart for service, and I’m glad to be able to serve in so many areas of my life,” said Williams.
Although her schedule is busy, she said her most challenging time at Montevallo was when she first arrived.
“I felt incredibly lonely at first, and I struggled with that a lot. Thankfully, I was given a team and other friends that have turned Montevallo into my home away from home.”
When thinking about why she chose Montevallo, “I put a lot of thought into where I wanted to spend the next years of my life, and a good deal of that…was in prayer. I came to tour Montevallo, and every bone in my body was screaming ‘yes!’ at me.”
Some of Williams’s favorite parts of campus are the people. She said, “The faculty, staff and students give a life to Montevallo that is unlike any other place I’ve ever been. They make it a joy to be here, and they affirm my decision every day.”
Many of her favorite moments happen when she’s spending time with her teammates off of the court. One of her favorite memories while at Montevallo was on a bus ride from an away game.
“We were all going a little stir crazy, and so we decided to do some singing together on the bus. Very few of us have any musical talent but singing with my friends is a memory I will cherish forever.”
After college, Williams plans to pursue a graduate program and PhD in theology.
She said, “As of right now, my plan is to teach theology. I would be willing to teach any age group, but I am particularly interested in teaching high school and possibly coaching girls’ basketball while there.”
She continued, “I also aspire to marry and be a mom – I feel that all of these things are part of God’s plan for me.”
For now, Williams plans to continue playing basketball for the University and continue serving the community on and off-campus.
Xander Swain is the Managing Editor of Content for The Alabamian. He is a third-year double major in political science and sociology. Xander plans on attending law school and studying environmental law. He loves the outdoors and cooking for his friends in his free time.