McAfee completes basketball career with Ichabods
Alexis McAfee, a local resident of Sabetha and a senior at Washburn University, has completed her collegiate basketball career after one year with the Wayne State Wildcats and three with the Washburn Ichabods.
At a young age, Alexis got her first taste of the court when she attended local basketball camps.
“I started going to local camps for basketball, such as Biddy Ball and T’s Skills and Drills, when I was very young,” Alexis said. “I started playing on the Sabetha Silver Stars team in second grade, and later played with the Topeka Hoopsters in seventh grade.”
Her former high school head basketball coach, Alex McAfee — also her father — has been a big influence on her basketball career.
“I remember going to my dad’s basketball practices after school in early elementary school,” Alexis said. “My dad has always been there to rebound for me, push me to expand my game, and talk through any frustrations I might have.”
Including her father, Alexis’s family members have supported her and encouraged her to play her best.
“Him [my father], along with the rest of my family, inspires me to play my hardest. All I want to do is make them proud every time I step on the court,” Alexis said.
During Alexis’s high school career, she lettered not only in basketball, but also in volleyball and track and field. As a freshman, she averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
As a sophomore, Alexis averaged 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game. She received All-Class 3A First Team honors from the Wichita Eagle, as well as Second Team All-State honors from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association (KBCA) and Topeka Capital Journal.
During her junior year, Alexis averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.8 steals per game. She received Second Team All-State from KBCA, The Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal.
In her senior season, she averaged 13.1 points per game while helping her team to second place in the Class 3A State Tournament. According to https://wusports.com, Alexis’s postseason honors that season included Class 3A First Team All-State by KBCA, The Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal; Highland Community College (HCC) Northeast Kansas All-Star game MVP; WIBW 3A All-State Tournament Team; All-Big 7 League First Team; and KBCA All-Star Game player. According to Coach McAfee, she also received All-Class Third Team from KBCA, as well as Northeast Kansas (NEK) All-Star Game selection.
Alexis helped lead her Bluejay teams to three state tournaments, earning a fourth place finish her junior year and a runner-up finish her senior year. With Alexis’s help, her teams combined to go 78-30 over her four-year career.
As stated by her high school coaches, Alexis scored 1,290 points in her high school career overall — placing her at number three in Sabetha basketball history. She also tallied a total of 543 rebounds, 441 assists, 301 steals and 150 three-point makes.
According to Nathan Bauman – current Sabetha High School (SHS) girl’s head basketball coach and assistant coach when Alexis played, Alexis ended her high school career as the number one stat leader in assists and three-point makes. She was third in total points scores, and fourth in total rebounds.
“Alexis was a true point guard who could handle the ball, deliver a great pass, and also score it from the outside or drive it to the basket,” Bauman said. “In addition to that, however, she was also a great rebounder, especially for a guard.”
Bauman and Coach McAfee express their appreciation for Alexis and her work while playing for the SHS Lady Jays.
“I’ve never seen anyone play harder than Alexis, and the really unique thing is that it didn’t matter if it was a state championship game or a practice or just an individual workout, she always gave everything she had in every situation,” Bauman said. “She also had a knack for making a big play when we needed it. Maybe it was hitting a deep three-pointer — some really deep — or getting a steal or a big rebound, we could always count on her to make a play for us.”
“Alexis had a strong work ethic, she worked year round on her game,” Coach McAfee said. “As a four-year letterman, she played all out, all of the time, and played the game the right way. She was the ultimate team player doing whatever it took to help her team win… whether that was scoring, rebounding, passing or defense.”
After graduating high school, Alexis moved her focus to college, searching for a women’s basketball program to join. Unlike most people, Alexis knew her college plans at a young age.
“It was always my dream to play in college from a very young age. There was never a time when I considered not playing, because basketball has always been a part of my life,” Alexis said.
Before becoming an Ichabod, Alexis attended and played at Wayne State University, Neb., her freshman year. While at Wayne State, she appeared in 16 games, averaging 0.7 point and 3.3 minutes played per game. Following her freshman year, Alexis decided to change programs.
“I started out my college basketball career at Wayne State University. I found out that first year that I did not fit into the program and coaching staff there, so I decided to go somewhere that was closer to home and went to Washburn,” Alexis said.
During her sophomore year at Washburn, Alexis started all 30 games for the Ichabods and averaged 32.5 minutes played per game. She averaged 12 points per game, and tallied a total of 360 points, 46 steals, 171 rebounds and 64 assists on the year — according to https://wusports.com.
Alexis also ranked in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) Top 20, placing 18th in scoring, 18th in rebounding, 13th in three-pointers per game and 13th in steals.
Junior year, she again started all 30 games and scored 277 points total, averaging 9.2 per game. Alexis registered career-highs in assists with 89 overall, assists per game with 3, blocks with 13 and steals with 59. She also placed in the MIAA Top 20 for a second year, placing third in steals with 59, third in steals per game with 2, seventh in assist/turnover ratio with 1.3, 10th in assists overall, 10th in assists per game and 18th in minutes played.
Additionally, Alexis received All-MIAA Honorable Mention in 2018-19, MIAA Scholar Athlete in 2019 and MIAA Academic Honor Roll in 2018 and 2019.
“Alexis, over the last three seasons, has worked her way into an All-Conference player. She is one of the hardest workers that I have coached in my 20 years as head coach of the women’s basketball program,” said Ron McHenry, head women’s basketball coach at Washburn University.
Alexis, currently number 15 on her Ichabod team, plays the guard position and continues to work hard.
“She is one of our best defenders and a great rebounder from the guard position,” McHenry said. “She is always in the action of the game.”
During this past summer, she was chosen to travel to Brazil to play on the 2019 USA Division II Women’s Basketball Team. According to Alexis, she went 4-0 against other professional Brazilian teams.
On Wednesday, March 4, Alexis and her team played against Missouri Southern State University at the 2020 MIAA Conference Tournament. The Ichabods beat Missouri Southern, 66-52, to advance in the tournament. On Thursday, March 5, the Ichabods played against the No. 1 ranked team in the region, the University of Central Missouri. To end her season, Alexis’ team was defeated in the single-elimination round against Central Missouri, 61-65.
Alexis is majoring in Kinesiology, the study of human or non-human body movement. After graduation, she plans to continue participating in basketball by going into coaching at the collegiate level.
“After I graduate, I plan on looking for a coaching job to coach basketball at the college level,” Alexis said. “I will always find a way to stay on the court after my NCAA eligibility is up, though. I am a big fan of pick-up games!”