Alicia Williams can do it all.
During her time at Fort Payne High School she was a three-sport star, playing volleyball, basketball and soccer, but on the basketball court was where she made a name for herself.
She was a four-year starter and helped the Wildcats capture four-straight area championships, three regional tournament appearances and a final four berth in 2009. She scored more than 2,000 points and is among the most decorated players in school history. A three-time all-state selection and the 2009 Northeast Regional Tournament MVP, she was an Alabama High School Athletic Association North-South All-Star last summer and played in the 2011 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
All of these accomplishments led to her going on to play at Mercer University, where she starred on the court as well.
But basketball is just the beginning of Williams’ talents.
She’s also a standout in the classroom, as well as a talented singer.
This week she brought her knowledge and love for basketball back to Fort Payne to help the Fort Payne coaches at their annual youth basketball camp at the Wills Valley Recreation Center.
“I’m always excited to come home,” Williams said. “I didn’t get to come home a lot because of basketball, so when Coach [Steve] Sparks asked me to come help out I was really excited.”
Williams has plenty of skills and knowledge to pass on to the campers, and not all of them are basketball related.
She graduated from Mercer on May 16 with a degree in biology and plans to go into the medical field as either a doctor or a physician’s assistant. She frequently sang the national anthem at sporting events at Mercer and around campus and churches.
School, basketball and singing have always been what she’s loved.
“I wanted three things when I was little,” Williams said. “I was going to play in the WNBA, I was going to be a famous singer and I was going to be a doctor. I had to pick one, and as I got older I decided that being a doctor was what I wanted to be.”
Carrying out all three of the goals she set as a kid wasn’t totally out of the question, though.
During her time at Mercer, she played for four years and her senior season helped the Lady Bears to a 20-15 record and a berth in the WBI semifinals, averaging 9.3 points per game. When the season was over, she had opportunities to play professionally overseas, but decided it was time to hang up her uniform.
It was hard knowing her basketball career was over, but at the same time being in the medical field was always her biggest goal.
“I always wanted to pursue medicine and be a doctor,” Williams said. “I made that career choice you can’t falter and you have to be dedicated. I put a lot of effort into my undergrad degree to make sure I had good grades so I could pursue it. It was hard to say my basketball career is over, but now I can come back and help kids get scholarships like I’m doing today.”
Fort Payne girls basketball coach Steve Sparks said Williams has always put academics in front of her athletics and she was a great role model to the kids at the basketball camp.
“I remember we were playing in the final four and she carried her chemistry book with her to study and lost her book,” Sparks said. “She always put academics first and she was just an all-around great kid. It’s great for her to come back to the camp and help.”
Williams will now work in a hospital in Huntsville as a CRA (clinic research assistant) while she decides whether she wants to apply to medical school or got to school to be a physician’s assistant.
She’s also not given up on her singing career either.
“I’ve kind of made a name for myself around Georgia,” Williams said. “I wrote and composed a song and I’ve performed a lot around campus and at churches. Everybody keeps telling me to tryout for The Voice. It’s not completely out of the question, but if I was going to do it would be in this next year before I start applying to school.”
Looking back on all aspects of her life, Williams feels blessed for what she’s been able to accomplish and what she still has ahead of her.
“I’m very blessed,” Williams said. “Number one for having so many options for my future. God has blessed me with multiple opportunities so I try to seize every opportunity that I have to be the best I can be.”