Athlete of Week: Volleyball star has hot hand at hoops

cfghoops-tomlinaowFollowing an all-state performance on the volleyball court in the fall, it didn’t take Carolina Forest junior Alexis Tomlin very long to make the transition to the basketball hardwood. In fact, the two-sport star is the first winner of the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week Award of the winter sports season.

Whether it’s volleyball or basketball, you will always find Tomlin around the net. She led the Lady Panthers in kills and blocks in volleyball, and now tops the basketball team in points (17.4 per game), rebounds (13.9). In addition to easily averaging a double-double, the 6-foot center/forward also stands out on both ends of the floor with 4.3 blocks and 3.9 steals.

“I think playing volleyball definitely kept me in much better shape for the start of the basketball season,” said Tomlin, who led the volleyball squad on a playoff run that lasted into the opening of basketball practice. “I feel like I came in ready to play even though I didn’t have much time between sports.”

“Alexis came into the season in much better shape and it has paid off,” Carolina Forest girls basketball coach Stacy Hughes said of her captain. “Her speed and footwork are much improved, and her leadership and intensity is at a different level than last year.”

Tomlin literally hit the floor running, leading the Lady Panthers to the title of the preseason Sand & Hoops Invitational at Socastee. With their only losses coming to top-ranked Myrtle Beach, Carolina Forest is off to a 6-2 start aftr scoring an impressive victory over Hoggard (NC) last weekend.

“Even though we didn’t have a lot of practice time before the season, most of us having been playing together for a while so it didn’t take us very long,” Tomlin said. “I think we are playing at the highest level since I’ve been here. We’ve gotten so much better and I’m excited to see how much better we can get.”

Given Tomlin’s success at both hoops and volleyball, she may have a difficult decision ahead if college recruiters come calling in both sports. But the 5.0 student at the Scholars Academy says she may opt to bypass the college sports route and focus on academics by entering the University of South Carolina honors program.

“If I had to choose it would be volleyball because it is my favorite, even though I have been playing basketball longer,” she said. “I started playing AAU volleyball with Grand Strand Juniors about six years ago and I fell in love with it. But I really enjoy competing and being part of a team no matter which sport.”

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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