Photo: 2019 Southside High School graduate Alexis Thompson recently signed a basketball scholarship with Snead State Community College in Boaz. Pictured, sitting from left: SSCC women’s head basketball coach Destinie Smith, Alexis, Alexis’ dad Terry. Standing: SHS girls basketball coach Kim Nails. (Gary Wells)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Alexis Thompson will bring her cage skills at the junior college level.
The 2019 Southside High School graduate signed a basketball scholarship earlier this week with Snead State Co-mmunity College in Boaz.
Thompson averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds this past season while leading the team in assists and steals with 78 and 40, respectively. The Lady Panthers finished with a 20-6 record, won the area tournament and a first-ever sub-regional playoff game and participated in a Northeast Regional semifinal for the first time in school history.Thompson and her fellow seniors helped the program win its first-ever Etowah County Tournament in 2018 as well as three area titles.
SHS athletic director Angie Sanders, who is the Snead State volleyball coach, brought Thompson to the attention of the Destinie Smith, the school’s women’s basketball coach.
“I’ve been playing [basketball] since I was four [years old] and I love the game,” said Thompson. “I’m looking forward to playing in college.”
A four-sport athlete, Thompson also was a member of the school’s volleyball, soccer and track and field teams. This past fall, she helped Southside reach the North Super Re-gional Volleyball Tournament. In the spring, she helped the Lady Panther soccer team post a 21-3 record and make a third straight Final Four appearance. Despite never having competed in the shot put, she medaled in the event at the Etowah County track and field meet in April.
Thompson acknowledged the challenge of balancing academics with athletics, often having to complete her homework assignments while still in school on game days.
“I knew I’d be up to 11 or 12 at night if [the homework] wasn’t done in class. It would all start over the next day because I’d go straight to workouts and then another practice. It was kind of non-stop through the school year. But it was definitely worth it.”
Thompson joins a Lady Parson squad that last season went 16-15 overall and 3-7 in Alabama Community College Conference action.
“Alexis is a very good athlete that can excel in every sport she puts her mind to doing,” said Southside girls basketball head coach Kim Nails. “She has a linebacker mentality and has the ability to break down defenses. Her low center of gravity and her ability to attack a seam allows her to create and attack the goal. She is a distributer and often sees openings even before they materialize. Alexis is completely fearless of any team or situation on the basketball court.
“I always thought basketball could be a vehicle to take Alexis where she wanted to go. My prayer is that she will utilize this opportunity that she has been given, work harder than she has ever worked both in the classroom and on the floor, and most importantly, earn a degree that will give her any career that she pursues.”
Snead State women’s basketball coach Destinie Smith liked the fact that Thompson’s size is ideal for a guard at the junior college level.
“I think Alexis will be a good piece to fit in with what we already have. We like to play really fast, and Alexis sees the floor and can distribute the ball at that kind of pace. She’ll bring some diversity to our team, as well. I told Alexis that [a starting position] is pretty much open for whoever works hard for it.”
Thompson spoke of how special it was to experience the Lady Panthers’ special 2018-19 season with fellow seniors Lauren Hunt, Maci Williams and Kenzi Duncan.
“We all just pushed each other. If one of us wasn’t there, it was a terrible practice. But when we were all there, we tried to make it fun. That’s how we got through it.”