Chapel Hill grad Alfred chooses to stay close, play basketball at UT Tyler

Published on Friday, 16 June 2017 23:28 - Written by CHRIS PARRY, cparry@tylerpaper.com

MyKaela Alfred set three goals for her senior year - lead Chapel Hill girls basketball at least three rounds deep in the playoffs, make the Texas Girls Coaches Association all-state team and be named to the Tyler Morning Telegraph All-East Texas team.

She went 3 for 3.

The Lady Bulldogs went to regional quarterfinals before bowing out to Bullard. Her 16.4 points per game scoring average prompted the TGCA and TMT to make those second and third goals happen. She was Class 4A all-state and All-East Texas third team. She also made academic all state and qualified for the state track meet in hurdles.

But also, for as long as Alfred could remember, she wanted to go away to college - as in away from Tyler.

She envisioned receiving her diploma and putting the Rose City in her rearview mirror.

Colby College in Waterville, Maine offered Alfred the opportunity to put thousands of miles between her and Tyler. She also had offers from Kansas Christian College in Overland Park, Kan., Coastal Bend College in Beeville and Panola College in Marshall.

Alfred decided on a completely different option, one that she would never have envisioned five years ago.

Alfred committed her future to play basketball and study kinesiology at UT Tyler.

“My support system is really big … and I have been playing basketball since I was in kindergarten and both my parents (Carlos and LaSonja Alfred) have never missed a game,” Alfred continued. “I (realized) it was going too hard for me to (go away) and adjust to having my parents not be at my games.”

Alfred finished the playoffs averaging 19.3 points per game to also go with 3.3 steals per contest. In Chapel Hill’s area-round win over Mabank, Alfred poured in a season-best 29 points.

The Lady Bulldogs graduate joins a UT Tyler team that reached the NCAA Division III Tournament two years ago and went 20-7 last season.

Alfred said she was impressed when UT Tyler coach Kendra Hassell invited her for a visit.

“Coach Hassell and coach (Chynna) Turner talked to me about the school and the program and what they expected, and what I could possibly contribute to the team,” Alfred continued. “In that moment I knew I wanted to be a part of the Patriot family.”

Alfred said she is not going to run track at UT Tyler, wanting to concentrate on basketball. She already received an offseason workout book and Alfred admits “those workouts are no joke.”

“I just would like to thank God and my parents, coaches and teachers for always believing in me.”

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