Sumter Central's Brown signs with Wallace-Selma
Mon. May 28, 2012 at 11:36 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
During her high school basketball career, Alfondria Brown went to Birmingham three times for the AHSAA Tournament, experienced the thrill of winning a state championship and became a charter member of a completely new program.
Brown will play for another team during the 2012-13 season, having signed with Wallace Community College of Selma.
"It meant a lot to me," said Brown, a member of the first graduating class at Sumter Central High School. "I felt like I was helping my family out. I just want to thank God first and thank my family and friends and my coach, everybody who supported me and believed in me.
"I hate to leave, but I think I’m about to start the first chapter in my life. They made me feel real welcome at Wallace. I felt like I was at home. I think I’m going to be blessed to keep going, to keep playing basketball. I think I can make it."
Brown, who hopes to become a dental hygienist, said she expects her role next season will be to "shoot the ball and help the team out."
"I did a little of everything," she said. "I was fast. I could shoot. I could get the steals. I could pass it to my teammates when they were down the court."
A 5-foot-7 guard, Brown played three seasons for coach Eddie Jackson at Sumter County High in York. Jackson got the job coaching the girls basketball team at Sumter Central, which opened last August and drew students from Sumter County High and Livingston High.
When Brown played for Sumter County, the Lady Wildcats qualified for the AHSAA semifinals in Birmingham in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Sumter County rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Madison Academy 53-50 in the 2010 Class 3A championship game. Brown said she contributed three points in the victory.
"The biggest lesson I learned is to never give up, to keep fighting," Brown said. "We played hard for Coach Jackson. We always had each other’s back."
Sumter Central competed in Class 4A last season. The Lady Jaguars went 25-6 and finished as the runners-up in the Central Regional in Montgomery.
Jackson said Brown averaged 11.4 points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists per game.
"She was very athletic," Jackson said. "Her main strength was being a leader, but she could shoot the basketball and dribble it well. She really ran our team this year.
"I think she has the ability to go on (to a four-year school). I hope she will use this as a stepping stone to continue her basketball career. We’re going to miss her, and I hope to have many more like her."
Jackson said Brown was a freshman when he started talking to her about the possibility of qualifying for an athletic scholarship to further her education.
"I encourage all my players," he said. "If you’re going to play basketball, play with a purpose. Use it to take you other places. Then once you get someplace, try to come back and give something to the community. That’s what other coaches have taught me, and that’s what I’m doing."
Reach Andrew Carroll at email@example.com or at 205-722-0223.