Alumni Spotlight: Ultimate handler Lewellyn met husband playing pick-up in Texas
Former Liberty University women’s ultimate player Keziah (Lewellyn) Hill, a missionary kid from Apple Valley, Calif., helped the Lady Flames rise through the USA Ultimate rankings from the mid-200s as a freshman to No. 32 in the nation by her junior season.
“My first year that we played, we lost almost every game, but then the next year, we started winning some, and then the year after that, we started winning tournaments, and I was like, ‘What in the world? This is crazy,’” Hill said. “So that was really cool to see the development of our team, going from basically really low level to high-level ultimate.”
She played on a club team during the summer after her junior season and then again the summer after graduating.
“Then I moved to Texas and I was like, ‘I don’t want to stop playing ultimate because I love it so much,” Hill said. “I love playing ultimate. So when I came here, I started finding pick-up (games).”
That was how she eventually met her husband, after playing on the best co-ed mixed team in Houston.
“He was playing with a men’s team, and I promised them that I would play on their team if they went mixed … (because) most of them were Christians and it was really hard to play on a team that was so secular,” Hill said, noting that she turned down an opportunity to play for a nationally ranked team in Austin to keep her vow to her future fiancé.
“It’s fun that my husband actually loves to play ultimate, too, so now we’ve been playing in leagues together,” she said, noting that she is now a stay-at-home mom to their daughter, Zena.
Hill, who received her B.S. in Exercise Science in 2016, found ultimate to be a healthy outlet from her intensive studies.
“It was a really good release for me,” she said. “I wanted to do something that was active that I could just like not have to think about school or anything. Ultimate was really good for that, it was really good to learn structure and the different strategies. It all started with Jonathan Mast teaching me. It was the first time I was on a team where I was coached for that long.”
Her peers and professors at Liberty were equally influential in developing her holistically, as a physical therapist and a minister of the Gospel.
“I really liked how all of the professors prayed in class,” Hill said. “That was very helpful in learning what we were about to learn and seeing the professors’ heart. They were like, ‘Yeah, we want to teach you this material, but really, we want you to know God,’ and that was really impactful in my life.”
She said her circle of friends at Liberty, including her ultimate teammates, helped her grow socially and spiritually.
“Learning how to relate to different kinds of people and learning how to share the Gospel with people, and realizing that not everybody that’s going to Liberty is a Christian,” opened doors for her to communicate her faith, she said.
She completed her senior internship and started her career as a personal trainer at the YMCA in Lynchburg.
“I know it doesn’t make as much, but I really, really like helping people that way and I feel like it’s an easier way to share the Gospel with people because you’re (working) one-on-one with them,” Hill said.
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