Truett-McConnell's Lawson excels in athletics and academics
by Emily Grooms
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews)--A new chapter began in the lives of 192 enrolling freshman as they moved on campus and jumped into the exciting life of a college student. They also wrote a new chapter for Truett-McConnell College's records by bringing with them an average GPA above 3.2.
Student-athlete Alyssa Lawson, who enrolled at TMC with a 3.9 GPA, represents her frosh peers through studious dedication. A graduate from Sequatchie County High School in Dunlap, Tenn., Lawson says that excelling in academic pursuits has always been a personal goal.Alyssa Lawson (left) and her teammates engage in physical training as part of every practice. (Photo/Norm Miller)
"My parents taught me at a young age to try my best at everything that I do, and that stuck with me," Lawson told TMCNews. "I guess I would consider myself a perfectionist. I have always had a personal need to excel in all I do."
Though recruited by several other colleges and universities for her academic prowess and athletic skills in basketball, the 6-foot-tall center for the Lady Bears says that God opened the door for her to attend Truett-McConnell College.
"At first I didn't want to come to Cleveland, but as soon as I came on my first visit, God put on my heart that Truett-McConnell was the school for me," said the early childhood education major. "I am content with the fact that this is where God wants me to be."
Growing up an athlete, Lawson learned from a young age the importance of balancing both her academics and athletic commitments.
"I've played basketball since I was five years old," Lawson said. "Basketball has taught me a sense of self-discipline, how to set personal goals for improvement, learn how to work with others in stressful situations, as well as leadership skills."
Having mastered on the high school level the balance between basketball and academics, Lawson says playing a collegiate sport is a challenge in itself. "College athletics takes up more of my day than it did in high school," Lawson said. "I have to adjust my schedule and utilize my free time to study and do homework. But I always make sure my studies are finished even if it means sacrificing some sleep in the process."
This freshman baller hopes to help her team reach their full potential in talent and teamwork: "I dream of a championship. It will definitely take hard work, sweat, and Jesus, but it's possible," Lawson said.
"God comes first in my life, then school and basketball," said Lawson, a member of Ewtonville Baptist Church, Dunlap, Tenn.
Prioritizing her time in an effort to maintain perspective, Lawson realizes there's more to college than playing basketball.
Whether it's making a good grade or "snagging up a great win," Lawson said she always remembers to thank God. "I have to thank God because He's always there, even in the worst of times," she said. "He knows why things happen when I don't, and I have to put my complete trust in him."
Spiritually, Lawson hopes to keep her walk with the Lord close and desires to see his will accomplished in her life.
Determined to glorify God in all she does, Lawson said, "I firmly believe God's given me talent in basketball as a pedestal to share my faith publicly. I hope to lead others to Christ while I'm here."