A starting center on Southern Wayne’s girls’ varsity basketball team, Alexis Elliott also plays volleyball and throws shot put. This season, Elliott placed third at the Indoor Track and Field State Championship meet for shot put.

Elliott, who didn’t play basketball her sophomore or junior years, stepped back on the court to help her teammates compete and reach the playoffs, but Southern Wayne lost to South Central in the ECC Conference Tournament semifinals.

“I like volleyball the most, I’ve been playing volleyball for six years,” said Elliott. “I decided to play basketball again because of my peers and other seniors, who I’m good friends with. I wanted to help them out, and I never stopped loving basketball.”

A student-athlete to the core, Elliott has a 4.0 GPA and is number one her class. She is also a leader on and off the field, a trait she demonstrates by teaching others what she learned.

“No one taught me how to throw,” said Elliott. “I learned from Youtube videos, and some family members helped me out whenever they could. From most part, I’m out there teaching myself. If other people want to learn how to throw, they work with me.”

Elliott understands that she has a responsibility to do more. She attends Resurrection Hill Christian Center in Smithfield when possible, is a blood donor, and helped with the Wayne County Special Olympics. She also volunteered to help with the Tootsie Roll Drive.

At Southern Wayne, she is a part of the Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, the Student-Athlete Summer Intuition and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“How do I it all? The answer to that is complicated because it’s not a simple answer, it’s not a simple thing,” said Elliott. “My faith in God and my faith in my dreams helps, and just will and determination in wanting to help people. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

“I take it one thing at a time, I always try to focus on what I’m doing in the moment, because I know after that moment is over, I have to go to the next thing, so I give 100 percent in every moment.”

As of now, Elliott says she plans to continue playing travel volleyball with Lenoir Fusion in hopes that someone will offer her a full ride to play volleyball at the college level. After graduating from college, she wants to become an orthodontist in order to help others.

“It’s an interesting story,” said Elliott. “I actually went through my sophomore year of high school with no front tooth, and it was very difficult. I went through a lot of bullying and it was a scary feeling. I was going through a lot of depression and wondering who I was as a person.

“I finally got them fixed, so I want to become an orthodontist and open my own practice, and make braces affordable for people, who aren’t able to afford them. I went through years of bullying, and kids shouldn’t have to go through that.”

Asked to forecast the future years down the road, Elliott said she hopes to continue her passions. “I want to help and inspire kids. I want to be a role model and show kids they can do it.”