Statesboro Lady Blue Devils forwards Alisia Jenkins and Sierra Kirkland have run roughshod over the competition on the basketball court for the last three seasons. The duo still has one more season to play for the Devils, but both are also on their way to the next level.
Monday morning, both players signed national letters of intent to play collegiately next year. Jenkins signed with the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., while Kirkland will remain in Statesboro to play for Georgia Southern University.
“I’ve known that I wanted to play in college since middle school,” Jenkins said. “I really wanted to go to a Big East school, but wasn’t sure about my grades. I worked hard to get those up, and when South Florida said they wanted me, I jumped at it.”
Kirkland was looking for just the right combination of factors in her search for a college. Luckily for those who have cheered her on as a Blue Devil, they won’t have to travel much farther to continue cheering her as a Lady Eagle.
“After I looked at everything, Georgia Southern was just the right fit,” Kirkland said. “I was interested in a lot of the schools that wanted me. When I visited Georgia Southern, I liked the academics and got along really well with everyone on the team. It’s also great that my support system will still be right here in town.”
Coaching the pair during their tenure at Statesboro has been Jeff Seier. The Devils’ leader realized that he had some potential stars early on and has only become more impressed over the last three years.
“When Alisia and Sierra first showed up, we were hoping to teach them a lot,” Seier said. “As it turns out, they’ve done such a good job and progressed so much, they’ve done a lot of the teaching. This program is certainly going to remember both of their names for a long time.”
Bright futures lay ahead for both, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t aware of the task at hand. The Devils have fallen in the Elite Eight in each of the last two years — a hurdle that all of the Lady Devils are determined to get over this season.
“It’s not that we’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves,” Kirkland said. “But us seniors know that this is our last shot.”
“I think this is a team that can take state,” Jenkins said. “I’m excited about next year, but I’m totally focused on what Statesboro can do this season.”
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.