Williamson earns academic award

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Bernardy FULL STEAM AHEAD — Hamline University guard Alyssa Williamson (left) motors by Carleton College defender Emma Henry (23) during a regular-season basketball game on Dec. 7. Williamson earned a spot on the College Sports Communicators’ all-academic all-district women’s basketball team this season. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Bernardy

SHERBURN — Hamline University senior guard Alyssa Williamson’s recipe for success has been mixing supreme time management skills with athleticism to excel in the classroom and on the basketball court since she began playing sports.

Despite the lack of ideal classroom time the past four years, the former Martin County West High School graduate maintains a 3.959-grade point average while majoring in biology at Hamline.

The university has an undergraduate enrollment of 1,907 students and is nestled in Saint Paul.

Williamson, a four-year member of the Pipers’ women’s basketball team, made the College Sports Communicators (CSC) all-Academic all-District Women’s Basketball Team. Now she will advance to the CSC Academic All-America ballot.

“It’s nice to earn that honor,” Williamson said. “It’s all about time management. I have a lot of help from teammates. We help push each other. We make sure we study together and we have a lot of camaraderie as a group getting our work done and prepare for tests.”

To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale at her college.

It’s the second straight year Williamson earned the academic accolade. Her plan after graduating this May is to get a master’s degree and be a physician’s assistant.

This season, Williamson helped Hamline finish the season 18-9 overall, and started all 27 games, averaging 7.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

As a junior, she started 12 of the 23 games she played as the team finished 19-7 overall. Williamson averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.23 assists and 0.65 steals per game. She had an 11-point, 10-rebound performance against Augsburg on Jan. 22, 2022, to highlight her junior season.

Hamline played only six games during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 as Williamson started all six. The team finished 2-4 overall.

During her freshman season, she played in all 26 games coming off the bench for the team, which finished 15-11 overall.

Her minutes increased with each season, as did her role on the team.

The 5-foot-6 guard plays for head coach Alex Focke, who finished his sixth season at the helm of the Pipers’ women’s basketball squad.

During her high school days, Hamline, Northwestern and Gustavus Adolphus recruited Williamson, but in the end, she chose Hamline.

“I felt comfortable with Hamline, and it’s been a wonderful four years,” Williamson said. “I’ve worked hard on and off the court for four years. It’s been a great experience.”

Williamson also tutors biology in her spare time.

Her favorite class in college was biochemistry.

“It was a challenge, but I loved the class,” she said.

Williamson earned all-state honors as a high school basketball player and played softball, plus was a choir member.

She graduated as her class’ salutatorian.

Her high school schedule included being a member of Student Council, National Honor Society and Future Farmers of America.

Williamson is in the early phases of sending applications to graduate school.

“I’m just getting started sending my applications for PA school,” she said. “I can’t believe I’m graduating with my undergraduate degree. It’s been fun, but I’m not done yet.”

Her competitive athletic career has ended, but in the end she will always play the role as mentor to her younger siblings, Brayden and Bria, who follow their older sister by wearing the No. 1 jersey on the basketball court.

Williamson is the second oldest child of Deb and Jamie Williamson, and has an older sister, Sierra.

Alyssa said her dream job would be at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester or Fairmont after completion of her doctorate degree.

“I would love to work at Mayo,” Alyssa said. “Who knows what my future holds, but I know it will be in the medical field as a PA.”

A physician assistant is a licensed health care professional trained to provide patient evaluation, education, and health care services.

A physician’s assistant may diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and serve as a principal healthcare provider.


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