NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – Alyssa Hill entered a very exclusive club on Friday night. She became the fourth player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 point mark in her career, the first since 2017.
“My personal goals, my biggest one was 1,000,” said Hill. “So, when I hit that, that’s pretty much checked off. It’s super amazing. I love all the girls so much and to see just as emotional, if not more than I was, means so much and it wouldn’t have been possible without them. So, I’m grateful for every single one of them.”
“Alyssa came into the locker room and thanked all of them and told them it wouldn’t be possible without them,” said Mike O’Donnell, the head coach for the Miners. “So, that was a neat thing to see, too. And again, it just speaks highly of her character there.”
Hill has come a long way in her four years on the varsity team.
“When I was a freshman I was coming in and just trying to respect everybody else and learn as much as I can from everybody and find myself and find my role on the team,” said Hill. “Now, I’m the one who everybody else looks up to and I’m the one that gets looked to for scoring and who gets looked to in difficult times. So yeah, my confidence has grown a huge amount and that is due to the players that I played with previously and obviously the coaches.”
Hill has developed into a strong force down low for the Miners.
“I would describe myself as a pretty traditional post player who has good moves down low,” said Hill. “Then, especially in recent years, I’ve tried the expand my game from out of just the paint to short shots, mid-range, and then even three’s. It’s taken a lot of hard work.”
“From a coaching standpoint, it makes it easy to ‘X’ and ‘O’,” said O’Donnell. “Again, if you got somebody that when you need a big bucket you can throw it down and you’re not depending on one from the three-point line, you can get it right in close and hopefully you can convert down low.”
Winners of six straight games with no signs of slowing down, Hill continues to develop her leadership style.
“Even as we were getting ready for the Westwood game, we were working on different presses and she kind of spoke up and said, ‘Well, this isn’t quite what we were seeing the last game, we kind of saw it a little different,'” Said O’Donnell. “As a coach, it’s nice to hear those things. You know, sometimes players would just be quiet and let the coach, coach. To be able to have somebody have to confidence to step up and sound off with you is just a tremendous thing.”
So what’s next for Hill and the Miners?
“Now, I just have more team goals,” said Hill. “I want to win a district while I’m here because for the last three years we’ve gotten close but we haven’t gotten it. So that’s my biggest goal for this year is to try and win one.”
If and when the Miners reach that goal, Hill’s basketball journey won’t stop there. She recently signed to play basketball and run track at Bemidji State University.
“I picked Bemidji State because I just really love it there,” said Hill. “It feels like home, it’s a little town, it’s cold but so is Negaunee. It’s cold and it’s little here. The coaches for both the track team and the basketball team are beyond amazing.”
“We felt like she deserved that opportunity to play at the next level with all the work she has put in,” said O’Donnell. “I knew that it was something she wanted to do. You know, that’s the important part. It’s got to be something they love and want to do and not just something they feel pressured to do.”
Hill hopes to leave a lasting legacy with the Miner’s Progam.
“Obviously, I would love to be remembered as a good post player, but more importantly a good person, a good teammate, good student, always having sportsmanship, lifting others up, and yeah, just being a kind person,” concluded Hill.