Two- sport star
College students are required to budget their time wisely in order to balance assignments and a social life. Add in the responsibilities of being an athlete, and living by a highly structured schedule becomes even more necessary. Throw in a second sport and a new, rare breed of student-athlete has been created.
Junior Sadalia Ellis is one of those select few, as she is both a point guard on Liberty’s Division I (DI) women’s basketball team and a jumper for the track and field team.
According to Ellis, a 2012 graduate of Cypress Falls High School in Houston, the idea of attending a Christian college had always been appealing. After being recruited to come to Liberty on a basketball scholarship, Ellis made the cross-country move to Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I like the atmosphere here at Liberty,” Ellis said. “I wanted to go to a Christian school (after) coming up in a Christian background. … The Lord brought
In high school, Ellis averaged 10 points per game and 6.8 assists per game. But Ellis’ high school success extended beyond the hardwood as well. Ellis set school records in both the high jump (5-7) and long jump (18-8).
Ellis said that while basketball is her passion, she also enjoys track and field.
“My first love is basketball,” Ellis said. “(But) I get the best of both worlds.”
However, before heading over to the track during the outdoor season, which will begin at the end of March, Ellis hopes to help lead the Lady Flames to a Big South Championship. According to Lady Flames Assistant Coach Brittany Hoyt, Ellis has stepped up as the vocal leader and “quarterback” on the court.
“(Ellis is) the one who is able to keep cool and keep calm, (and her teammates) look up to that,” Hoyt said. “The players want steady and they need something to rely on. A calm, heady point guard is extremely important.”
Ellis, who is averaging eight points per game and 4.2 assists per game, is looking to earn her second conference championship ring in her time at Liberty. After being knocked out of the tournament last season by the Winthrop Eagles, the Lady Flames hope to regain their title. Liberty currently holds an 18-1 Big South Conference record and is the No. 1 seed heading into the tournament.
The Lady Flames will play the winner of the game between No. 8 seeded UNC Asheville and No. 9 seeded Coastal Carolina Thursday, March 5 at 12 p.m. The game takes place in Conway, South Carolina, and will be televised on ESPN3 and broadcast on 90.9 FM The Light.
CASTEL is a sports reporter.