Friday, February 05, 2010

Alesha Sisco Balances Basketball, Softball and Books

by Eric Thomas, Harrisburg Patriot-News

Alesha Sisco knows at some point she will have to give up the hectic college lifestyle for the real world.

For the time being, though, she's content playing the role of multi-sport star and international business major at Dickinson College.

Sisco, a junior, shares top-scoring duties on the Red Devils' women's basketball team, scoring 13.3 points per outing. She also leads in rebounds with 7.3 boards per game, helping Dina Henry's team to a 13-5 mark through Monday.

Dickinson is in the thick of the Centennial Conference race at 9-5, but is three games behind leader McDaniel.

On the softball field, Sisco is an infielder for a Red Devils softball team which finished fifth in the conference standings last spring. Sisco batted .315 with 12 RBIs.

In the classroom, the junior from the Allentown area also minors in economics.

In other words, there's never a shortage of things to do.

Sisco maintains between one and three classes a day, depending on her schedule, some during the evenings that run from 4 to 7 p.m. Then, it's off to the gym to work out with the basketball team.

When she's not in the classroom or the gym, Sisco is getting some batting practice in to prepare for the softball season, which opens Feb. 28 -- a date Sisco hopes to still be playing basketball, even though she loves both sports.

"The key is being able to take advantage of the time you aren't doing anything, and that's when I will get a lot of work done," Sisco said. "I know the softball schedule in the spring [ahead of time]. My coach [Matt Richwine] is very lenient with that. If I am able to come to a Sunday practice and take some reps, he will let me do that.

"During basketball, I play basketball until that is finished, and then I jump right into softball."

Sometimes the schedule can be a little too hectic. Sisco found that out when she was a freshman. At the end of her first season, she missed the softball season opener. Once basketball season concluded, she boarded a plane and flew to Arizona to meet her teammates for spring training.

But when you love what you do and play it with the passion Sisco does, it isn't a problem.

"I guess I just love playing both sports, and the coaches allowed me to do so, and I love the teams, my teammates and it's a lot of fun," Sisco said. "I never really had a formal sit-down with both coaches and explained to them when I was coming here and looking into the school at the beginning. I told them I was interested in playing both. They both seemed open to it and were willing to work with my schedule."

As an international business major, the college recommends spending a semester abroad. Sisco opted to not partake in that program because of her sports schedule.

"I was originally torn as to whether I wanted to go, but I figured missing the season, coming in halfway would be really difficult," she said. "There are also opportunities to go abroad in the summer which I'm thinking about."

The Red Devils women's basketball team is traveling to Costa Rica this summer, so Sisco may get her chance.

Still, in the back of her mind, someday she knows she will be an office, somewhere perhaps across the globe -- not running on the hardwood or digging out grounders in cleats with a glove.

"It will be a huge change in my life, and it's going to be sad, but I've known that time was going to come for a while, so I think I will be ready to do some new things in my life," she said.

But for now, Sisco plays on.