Three weeks before the first game of the 2013-14 season, senior Alli Gloyd suffered a season-ending ACL tear. At the end of the season, she had a decision to make—should she return for her final year of eligibility, or graduate and pursue her goal of working in public administration?
After weighing her options, Gloyd decided to come back, help lead a suffering team back to prominence and play the game she loves at a school she loves for one more year.
Growing up in Phoenix, Ariz., Gloyd was careful when selecting which high school, community college, university and graduate programs would best serve her academic aspirations.
“I begged my mom to let me go to South Mountain High School because of the law program there,” Gloyd said. “I love the show Law and Order, which is probably where that interest stemmed from. I competed in mock trials in high school, and they were always great.”
After her time at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, Gloyd went off to Mesa Community College before making a significant academic transition to Arizona.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in May, Gloyd is now going on to graduate school this summer to study educational leadership.
“It’s all administration work,” said Gloyd, “I think working with and educating kids is important.”
Several people have mentored Gloyd’s academic success, including her mother, Kamaria and her academic advisor, Sam Amato.
Amato worked closely with Gloyd to help her decide on the best graduate program for her and has been impressed with her drive.
“Alli’s work ethic is exceptional,” Amato said. “Everything from graduating to enduring an ACL injury, Alli has shown dedication to her academics and basketball. I’ve always been extremely impressed with her as a student athlete.”
Gloyd initially credits her mother for inspiring her academic passion.
“My mom always said ‘if you can learn the words to a rap song, you can learn your spelling and vocabulary words,’” Gloyd said.
Kamaria instilled the importance of education at an early age.
“I always told Alli that getting her homework accomplished would be very valuable in the long run and that it should always be a top priority,” Kamaria said.
But as offseason preparation begins for the 2014-15 season, Gloyd can shift her focus back to basketball and leading a team featuring seven new players.
“I always taught Alli to always be a leader, not a follower,” Kamaria said. “She never had any trouble balancing her sport with her schoolwork.”
After months of rehab, Gloyd plans to be 100 percent healthy by the start of the season.
“I’ve been non-stop working hard in rehab and I can really see a difference from a year ago,” said Gloyd.
And with her teammates, coaches and support staff at her side, Gloyd will be ready to make a difference and embody the definition of a student athlete.