Cornersville graduate Alicia Polk had a love for softball for most of her life. It wasn’t until she played in a summer league last year that she fell in love with basketball. That summer love …
Cornersville graduate Alicia Polk had a love for softball for most of her life.
It wasn’t until she played in a summer league last year that she fell in love with basketball.
That summer love translated into Polk’s best season of her career, and in turn, she helped lead the Lady ‘Dawgs to their best season in 15 years.
That effort on the court helped Polk land on the college recruitment radar and in turn, she signed her letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Chattanooga State.
“It was very exciting. Playing your last high school game, it’s scary because you don’t know if it’s going to be your last. Knowing you’re going to college gives something to look forward to and work for,” she said.
While Lady ‘Dawg coach Hayden McMahon did plenty of work promoting the former Lady ‘Dawg floor general, it was Chattanooga State who initially reached out to Polk and the rest was history.
“They reached out to me originally in just a phone call. Hayden McMahon did a great job of broadcasting my name and putting me out there for schools to see because originally I was softball, but going into my senior year, I was like, oh wait, I like basketball,” she said.
After graduating, Polk has been all basketball every day, from early morning conditioning, to keeping up with a workout app designed to prepare her for her freshman season.
“My day is all basketball. I wake up at 5 and run a mile and a half. She has an online phone app with workouts we do. We stay busy. She pushes to know you get what you work for,” she said.
During her high school years, and in particular, her senior season in which she was named the District 9-A MVP, Polk filled multiple roles for Cornersville, from handling the ball, to being a pull-up shooter, to attacking the rim off the block and she hopes that versatility transitions to the college level.
“Talking to the coach, she kind of told me she liked my jump shot and liked me inside. It really just depends whatever the team needs is what I’ll be,” Polk said.
While she’s had a focus on softball for several years, Polk has plenty of years playing on the hardcourt, going back to Jr. Pro leagues.
“The basic Saturday leagues, I did that. I never played AAU, I did travel softball—that’s what I did. I did a summer league last year in Franklin and that’s when I really fell in love with basketball,” she said.
That summer league work helped mold Polk into a standout leader for Cornersville, who in turn, had the best season in years, which included upsets of two perennial area powers.
“We had a chemistry. Our five or six main players had a connection and knew what role we needed to do. Hayden brought the fun back to the game,” she said.
“My favorite memory, I’ll have to say beating Huntland and Moore County, not to beat them for 15 years or whatever it was, that was pretty cool.”
While her senior year was a springboard to get Polk on a college floor, she’s hoping the work she puts in over the next two years can lead to even bigger basketball dreams beyond Chattanooga State.
“I want to continue and play farther on,” she said.
Polk plans on pursuing a degree in engineering.