Alexis Russell signs with Northern Oklahoma College
ROBERT C. McDONALD/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
East Central senior Alexis Russell signs her letter of intent May 11 to attend school and play basketball for Northern Oklahoma College. Russell is joined by her mother, Gloria; her father, Charles; and Lady Hornet Head Basketball Coach Jennifer Brewer.
After a strong senior season on the basketball court, East Central’s Alexis Russell has earned the opportunity to compete at the next level, and has accepted an offer to attend school and play basketball at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Okla.
The talented 5-foot, 11-inch forward said she considered several different schools, including some in states as far away as Wyoming and Nebraska, but ultimately decided on Northern Oklahoma so she could stay a little closer to home.
Although quite shy and reserved, Russell admitted she is excited about heading up to Northern Oklahoma. When asked what she was looking forward to most, she replied simply, “playing.” Russell later added that she was also looking forward to meeting her new team and receiving a college education. She plans to major in either kinesiology or computer science.
Russell has struggled at times throughout her career and was slowed by an injury, but it is her positive attitude and incredible work ethic that have helped her recover and achieve this goal. She said she believes in “always working hard and giving 100 percent.”
When an athlete dedicates so much time and energy to a sport, it’s generally out of a true love for the game. Russell said she has loved playing basketball since she started at the age of 6, and her parents couldn’t agree more.
Russell’s father, Charles, lit up as he recalled his daughter’s first basketball game.
“Her first basket was in the wrong goal,” Charles said with a smile, “but she was so happy, she was so proud.”
Charles also talked about how he helped his daughter out. Before the start of each half, Charles would tie a ribbon around the basket Russell was supposed to shoot at. That helped her and her team, and he saw her confidence and love for the game grow day after day.
“Her love for the game grew and evolved,” Charles said, “but she wasn’t always true to it. She drifted away at times, but she always came back, and when she did, she had a renewed passion for the game.”
Charles said he knows Russell hasn’t accomplished everything she wants to do in basketball, but understands this is a step in the right direction.
“I’m really happy and excited for her,” he said.
As Russell begins to shift her focus from life at East Central High School to life as a member of the Lady Mavs basketball team, she knows there will be many changes. She said she will miss her friends and family, but is excited about the future.
Her family, friends, and coaches are also excited for Russell. East Central Lady Hornet Head Basketball Coach Jennifer Brewer said she is happy and excited for Russell, and added that she would be missed next year. Brewer described Russell as a “quiet leader,” and said Russell will leave a set of very big shoes to fill. Brewer also believes strongly that Russell will find immediate success at Northern Oklahoma College.
“She has tremendous untapped potential,” Brewer said. “It will be exciting to see how she develops.”