Shalexia Little’s hard work in the offseason leads to college offers

Published 12:29 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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There are always moments that change the trajectory of someone’s life and future. Those moments have happened for Springwood basketball star Shalexia Little as she received offers to play at the next level from Snead State and Montevallo. 

Little was a star during her junior season, but this summer served as an important juncture for her. She has been busy all offseason playing AAU, attending camps and traveling to participate in playdates with Springwood. 

The offers seemed to come quickly as Snead extended an offer on June 26 and Montevallo gave her the offer the next day. In all reality, Little has worked towards getting these offers all summer. The offers that came in June were just a culmination of all her hard work. 

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“It just lifted some weight off my shoulders,” Little said. “I really wanted an offer. Me getting an offer before the season starts, it just took some weight off my shoulders. I can just finish with a great senior season and work on getting some more offers as we go.”

Little transferred to Springwood last year and has since been one of the best basketball players in Chambers County. She has always wanted to become a college basketball player and now that opportunity is on the horizon. 

Little grew up watching her sister play basketball at the high school and college level. Since then, she has always dreamed of treading the same path. 

“It’s been ever since elementary school,” Little said. “My sister played in college and she was really good in high school. I always just wanted to be just like my sister.” 

The hard work that Little put in throughout last season and this summer cannot be understated, but the attention of college coaches came after she attended a college camp in June. 

Little competed at Montevallo’s camp on June 22. Her showcase at that camp led to the Snead State offer. Little also caught the eye of Montevallo coach Olivia Chapman. Chapman asked her to come back to Montevallo for a visit, and she then extended the offer. 

“I haven’t gone down there and visited yet,” Little said about Snead State. “I ended up going to the Montevallo camp, and I had a good day down there. That’s how I got the Snead offer too. The Montevallo coach was just complimenting my game and wanted me to come back. When I came back to visit, she went ahead and gave me the offer.” 

Little was one of the highest-scoring guards in the area last season. She is not ready to rest on her laurels though. Little has been adding new elements to her game all off-season. 

Last season, the Springwood guard was largely dominant because of her speed, physicality and ability to finish at the rim. That will still be in Little’s pocket, but her shooting off the dribble and ability to shoot from the outside should make her even more dynamic. 

“My dribble pull-up is really going to change my game as we go into the season,” Little said. “We’ve been working a lot on shooting. My whole game is going to be changed from last year.” 

Springwood assistant coach Calvin Crabb deserves a lot of the credit for Little’s improvement this offseason. Crabb is constantly in the gym with the Wildcats on off days working on different drills and skillsets. 

“I really give a lot of props to coach Calvin,” Little said. “He’s the reason I’m able to get in the gym every day. He always wants to work. He always hits me up any time he’s in the gym… Calvin, he’s really a good friend to me besides just being my coach. He takes a lot of his time trying to help me get better, succeed and get more offers.” 

Little’s work with the Southern Starz Hooks travel ball team has also helped her to improve and gain more notoriety. She will have a huge opportunity to gain more college interest in July as she competes in the Run 4 Roses Classic. 

The Run 4 Roses Classic is one of the biggest AAU tournaments in the country for girls basketball. Little will be competing in at least four games from July 11-12. If her team advances to play on July 13, Little will have the chance to compete in the games being broadcasted on ESPN. 

“I feel like AAU in general just helps you learn how to play fast,” Little said. “AAU is very physical, and it’s way faster than high school. It’s just going to give me experience on higher levels that I’m not seeing as much at Springwood.” 

Little’s focus for her senior year is on improving academically and athletically. She wants to have a 4.0 GPA next year, even though she already finished with A’s and B’s as a junior. 

The decision to transfer from LaFayette to Springwood was a turning point for Little. Springwood coach Lisa Sampson has been one of her biggest supporters over the past year. The school as a whole has also helped Little achieve a lot of personal growth. 

“It just helped me push myself harder academic wise and in sports,” Little said. “I’ve got two great coaches. Coach Lisa is a great coach. She would do anything to help me succeed. She’s the one taking me to camps, sending my profile to coaches and doing all kind of stuff.”