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Former SHS player Jenkins hopes for WNBA
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Alisia Jenkins, center, celebrates after getting fouled and sinking her shot against Northside, Warner Robins during a 2011 game in Statesboro. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff



    Like any typical 22-year-old, Alisia Jenkins may check her phone several times a day. However, today, is not like any other day. Today, Jenkins is hoping for a call that will change her life.
    The former Statesboro High School Lady Blue Devil is expected to be selected in this year’s 2016 WNBA draft, something Jenkins has worked for her entire life.
    “I’m pretty nervous, but I’m pretty happy. It’s kind of overwhelming, but I’m ready,” said Jenkins a day prior to draft night.  “It feels pretty awesome. I’m the first one in my family to go to the pros or mentioned to go to the pros. My family is pretty happy and pretty proud of me.”
    A criminology major at the University of South Florida, Jenkins established herself early as a dominant force in Statesboro. As a freshman, she started for the Lady Blue Devils and became known for her size, speed and effort on the defensive glass.
    There’s no denying Jenkins’ work ethic. In many circles she’s known as a rebounding "force of nature." Jenkins led the American Athletic Conference with 11.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-1 senior also lead the Bulls in career rebounds (1,236).
    “Breaking the record was pretty awesome. It has been a goal of mine to break the record. I love getting rebounds. It’s something that really drives me and gets my motor going,” Jenkins said.
    Jenkins is one of just two players in USF school history to top 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
    “I think people realize just how much work I put in the gym and when no one’s looking, I’m working or studying,” Jenkins said.
    Jenkins still doesn’t know where she may be drafted. Whether or not she will land on a team is still unknown. Regardless, Jenkins will watch the WNBA draft at USF’s student lounge area with her teammates.
    The former Statesboro standout said she still keeps in touch with some of her former teammates, despite her busy schedule.
    Jenkins said she hopes to pay a visit to her hometown soon.
    “It feels really good to know I’m only 22 and kids in Statesboro look up to me like I’m 44,” said Jenkins, laughing. “I love Statesboro. It’s always home and I will never forget where I came from.”
    One day, Jenkins hopes to hold a position with the Statesboro Boys and Girls Club. Doing that would be a “dream come true,” according to Jenkins. But for now, Jenkins is concentrating on her studies and the prospect of being drafted in the professional ranks.
A WNBA contract means new responsibilities, and Jenkins said she knows exactly how she wants to spend her first professional contract.
    “I’m going to use my first check to buy my niece and nephews whatever they want,” Jenkins said. 
    Jenkins plans to fulfill her promise, no matter the cost.