Alexis Foulks is used to being surrounded by talent on the basketball court.
When she became focused on the game as an eighth-grader in the South Carolina Sparks AAU program, Foulks joined a group of players — including Spring Valley’s Cierra Carter and Ridge View’s Jontay Mitchem — who this year are among the state’s top seniors.
The senior guard/forward was tagged one of the state’s top seniors in the S.C. Basketball Coaches’ Association’s preseason honors.
At Columbia High, Foulks is the star for the Capitals and adjusting to her new role as team leader since the departure of Norrisha Victrum.
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“It’s been hard,” said Foulks, who has committed to Georgia Southern. “Ninth grade year, I started with all the seniors. This year, I’m trying to carry the load, but it’s hard. I’m trying to get my team motivated, but it is hard.”
Capitals coach Bobby Young understands it is a heavy load that has been placed on Foulks’ shoulders, but he is confident she can carry it.
“She is the No. 1 player and she knows that. We try to channel everything through her, because she determines how things go for us,” he said. “When she has a bad night, we have a bad night.”
When a game comes down to its final seconds, Young wants Foulks to take the ball — and control of the game.
“We’re going to win with her, and we’re going to lose with her,” Young said.
Much is riding on Foulks’ ability to carry her team. The Capitals (8-6, 1-1), ranked fourth in Class 2A, are aiming for another deep postseason run, but Young is looking for more of Foulks’ teammates to step up.
In the Capitals’ 38-34 loss to Keenan on Tuesday, the star posted more than half of the team’s points.
She puts up 14.5 of the team’s average 34 points per game, with the next two leading scorers posting around five points each.
The lopsidedness of Columbia’s offense has necessitated some changes to Foulks’ game, she and Young said.
Young said the 6-foot-1 senior, who moved from post to wing after her freshman year, has improved her outside shooting and is creating more scoring opportunites.
“I’ve learned how to drive more. Without me going to the hole, getting fouled, I wouldn’t score as much,” Foulks said.
Foulks has goals of pushing her team to the state tournament and herself to All-Star status.
A Bible verse written on her wrist, “I can do all things through Christ,” serves as her mantra.
“I’ve got motivation and my family behind me, and if they tell me I’ve got it, I know I can do it. And I always write this Bible verse here on my arm, to remind me,” Foulks said.