MCC Basketball Player Takes the Court Less Traveled to Success
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 18:06
A game winning shot at the buzzer, a swat into the fifth row, an ankle-breaking juke. That’s most people’s vision of basketball glory. But Alli Gloyd takes the most satisfaction from a grittier, more workmanlike but equally important play.
“Getting that clutch rebound to seal the deal; that’s what really feels the best,” she said.
A 6-foot-1-inch forward, Gloyd helped seal the deal plenty of times over her two-year career at Mesa Community College, helping the Thunderbirds to a 22-7 record and a fifth-place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II national tournament this season while averaging a team-leading 8.8 rebounds and 15 points per game.
Gloyd’s style of play isn’t flashy, but that hardly meant her success went unnoticed. She hauled awards as a 2012 First Team All-American, the 2012 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Player of the Year, 2012 First Team All-ACCAC and 2012 First Team All-Region and was honored as MCC’s top overall female athlete for 2011-2012. Gloyd and teammate Kalasia Green were named to the all-tournament team at the national tournament, at which Mesa also claimed the team sportsmanship award.
All of this, for someone who didn’t originally have basketball in her post-high school plans. Despite a successful career at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, Gloyd planned to attend Arizona State University to study criminal justice and leave basketball behind. But a lack of financial aid made it difficult to afford ASU. A high school friend and teammate encouraged Gloyd to join her at MCC’s basketball program.
After accepting a basketball scholarship and an academic President’s Scholarship, Gloyd made an immediate effect on the court for Mesa. She averaged 11.5 points and seven rebounds per game on her way to being named a 2011 Second Team All-American; 2011 First Team All-ACCAC; 2011 First Team All-Region; and 2011 Impact Newcomer for MCC women’s basketball. Some people would see that list as an impressive slate of accomplishments; Gloyd saw it as motivation to improve.
“If I do something, I do it all the way,” she said. “So, once I made Second Team All-America, I was like, ‘Well, now I have to make First Team.’”
Gloyd applies that same constantly striving, goal-setting mentality to her academic pursuits. She said that she’s had an interest in criminal justice, admitting it probably started with her fondness for TV crime dramas. She “begged” her mother to let her go to South Mountain because of the school’s Center for Law Related Studies, a program that lets students explore law related careers through community involvement and coursework that includes activities such as mock trials. Among her many other awards, she earned recognition as an Academic All American this year and graduated from MCC in May with an associate’s degree in criminal justice.
Her initial plan to attend a four-year university is also back on track, albeit at a completely different school. Originally headed for ASU, Gloyd will instead continue her studies this fall at the University of Arizona on a full-ride basketball scholarship. Colleges around the country recruited Gloyd after her first year at MCC, and interest increased even more with her improved performance this season. She chose UA in because it allows her to remain close to home, and Pac-12 road games will give relatives in California a chance to see her play.
She also plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with an eye toward an eventual career in the field. Gloyd said she isn’t exactly sure of the details of her future plan at this point, but she’s confident she can achieve whatever she decides on.
Just like when she goes up for a rebound, when Gloyd sets herself a goal, she is rarely denied.