SAND ROCK – Cheyanne Fuqua, Xander Bradley and Eli Williams all love the respective sports they played at Sand Rock. Although things didn’t work out for them to get an athletic scholarship, their alternatives will still keep them very much involved with their sports.
On Tuesday, Fuqua signed a manager’s scholarship with Gadsden State volleyball. Bradley also signed a management scholarship with the Cardinal men’s basketball team. Williams inked his scholarship with Shelton State men’s basketball.
Fuqua said she was stressing about finding a way to pay for college. One day she was perusing Gadsden State’s website when she found athletic director Mike Cancilla’s number and decided to give him a call to see if they had any positions open.
“He said he didn’t think there were any positions open, but he talked about because of COVID they had to do a lot of videoing,” Fuqua said. “I told him I had a history with a camera, and we talked about me videoing.”
A few days later, Fuqua’s high school volleyball and basketball coach Lisa Bates contacted her.
“She said ‘Guess who I just got off the phone with?’ I was like ‘Who?’ She told me it was the athletic director from Gadsden State asking about me. He said he found out a position had opened up for volleyball for managing,” Fuqua said.
After a meeting with Gadsden State volleyball coach Connie Clark, Fuqua was offered the position.
“I’m really excited and very blessed,” Fuqua said. “I can’t wait. I’m ready to go.”
Fuqua said she’s plans on majoring in either nursing or counseling.
Bradley said he’d already planned on going to Gadsden State before Sand Rock coach John Blackwell asked him if he would like a managing scholarship with the Cardinals to help pay for college.
Bradley jumped at the opportunity for the icing on his cake.
“I was going to Gadsden State anyway, but I really wanted to get my schooling paid for,” he said. “I was like ‘Yeah, I would like to do that.’ Even though basketball is over, I’ll still get to be a part of it.”
Bradley said one of the things he’s looking forward to is traveling with the team. He said he doesn’t know for sure yet what type of degree he wants to pursue, but he has thought about physical therapy.
“I thought about getting my general studies and then transferring, maybe becoming a physical therapist assistant. That’s mainly what I want to do,” he said.
Like Bradley, Williams said he’s potentially interested in physical therapy as a career. He heard about his upcoming position from a friend of his, Jackson Millander from Hokes Bluff.
“He asked me if I wanted to come down there. He knows I like basketball a lot, so I was like ‘Yeah, it sounds good,'” Williams said.
“He told his coach, and I told Coach Blackwell. He called and I got a visit down there. I think it’ll be really good down there.”
Williams said some of the things he would be doing include filming and keeping stats.
“I’m excited for it,” he said. “I’ll miss (playing) basketball, but you’ve got to look forward to the next thing.”
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