Alisha Wilson, a freshman starting forward/center for the Academy of Art University women’s basketball team and a sprinter on the track & field team, faced many obstacles before she arrived at the San Francisco campus. As a child, she exemplified strength and perseverance while navigating the foster care system and exposure to gang violence. Balancing school and athletics at Bonita High School was not easy, as Wilson dealt with the mental trauma of her childhood and frequently relocated as a ward of the state. She used her background as motivation and sports as an outlet. In her final year as a varsity basketball and track and field student-athlete with Bonita in 2020-21, Wilson was named Palomares League Most Valuable Player on the basketball court and guided the Bearcats to a league title.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, her opportunities to participate in recruiting trips and access to in-person social and emotional support were limited. However, Wilson was determined to not allow isolation and the instability of her home environment to deter her from becoming a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) qualifier. With additional support and guidance from her high school family, Wilson was able to finish high school and focus on her transition to college, where she is currently majoring in Communications and Media Technologies. On the basketball court, she scored 9.2 points per game and led the team with a .466 field goal percentage as well as 10.3 rebounds per game, helping the Urban Knights to an 18-11 record and a third-place regular season finish in the Pacific West Conference. On the track, she competed in the 200-meter and 400-meter events, setting personal bests of 25.38 and 55.57, respectively.
“As a first-generation college student, my goal is to be a role model for my siblings and for other youth,” Wilson said. “I’m very appreciative of the support my family has given me along the way. I was motivated to finish high school and become a student-athlete at the collegiate level. I hope my success can inspire someone else to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.”