Out to follow a dream

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2016

Former Andalusia resident Blanche Alverson was officially named assistant basketball coach for the New Mexico State University Lady Aggies women’s basketball team.

“It’s really awesome,” Alverson said of her new job. “It’s just a very cool opportunity.”

Blanche Alverson has been named assistant basketball coach at New Mexico State University.

Blanche Alverson has been named assistant basketball coach at New Mexico State University.

The Lady Aggies have enjoyed a lot of recent success under sixth-year head coach Mark Trakh. Trakh has led the Lady Aggies to back-to-back WAC regular season and conference tournament champions. The Lady Aggies also made back-to-back trips to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament for the first time in nearly 30 years.

“Coach Trakh is a great head coach for me to learn under,” Alverson said. “Being a part of coaching is something I wanted to do and to be under a coach like him that has been very successful everywhere he has been is something I’m really excited about.”

Alverson said that one of her jobs at New Mexico State will be recruiting future players.

“I will be doing a lot of recruiting and of course be on the floor during the game,” Alverson said. “July is a big recruiting month for us and I’m sure I will racking up a lot of miles during that time.”

Before taking the job at New Mexico State, Alverson served as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech for the past two seasons.

“I learned a lot about myself during my time at Texas Tech,” Alverson said. “I got the chance to really experience what it was like to be an assistant coach and it helped me learn if coaching was what I really wanted to do. It was a very important job for me. It allowed me to continue to learn about the game.”

While at Texas Tech, she helped lead the Red Raiders to its first Big 12 tournament win since 2012.

Recruiting was also something Alverson had a hand in while at Texas Tech. She helped in part of landing a pair of top-75 players in the nation according to ESPNU HoopGurlz for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

Alverson got her college career started as a player for Terri Williams-Flournoy at Auburn University. She finished her career 18th on the all-time scoring list at Auburn with 1,244 career points. She became just the fourth player in Lady Tiger history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals and 50 blocks in a career.

Her playing career at Auburn and her stint as professional player overseas are things that Alverson says really help her make a connection with the girls.

“Being able to relate to the players is a tremendous amount of help,” Alverson said. “I can relate to them and understand what they are going through because I was in the same position.”