SportStars Magazine

Alexa Edwards: A SportStars Day In The Life

St. Francis High Volleyball’s Alexis Edwards Showcases All-Star Qualities Both On And Off The Floor While Sharing A Game Day With SportStars •

St. Francis-Sacramento junior volleyball star Alexa Edwards earned 6,837 votes at sportstarsmag.com to nab selection for the first “Day in the Life” video profile presented by Fantag for SportStars Magazine.

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Somewhere between Anna Zhovinsky’s algebra class and post-match improvised dancing on the Troubadours hardwood, she gained at least two more fans.

Alexa Edwards, St. Francis VolleyballVideographer Derek Bradfield Nguyen and I shadowed Alexa for the project. The two of us observed Alexa in the classroom, on the road and in her favorite local eateries. We illuminated her with LED light panels for an in-depth interview and closely tracked her routine before, during and after a state playoff match.

We learned that Alexa is more than just the daughter of NBA and NCAA volleyball champions, demonstrates character and warmth beyond the expectations of a college preparatory student and shares a winning spirit not exclusive to the volleyball court.

“(Alexa) just has a good energy and gets along with everyone,” Nguyen told me after we left the Troubadours campus. “She was comfortable talking about her process and wasn’t trying to act for the camera. And she wasn’t too shy either.

 

“She was just genuinely being herself, which is really nice for videographers.”

We watched Alexa display the skills and leadership that earned her a volleyball scholarship to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, where her mom helped coach the Tigers to an NCAA championship just two years after finishing her four-year collegiate career with the program.

Alexa smashed 23 kills in the game we covered. She has finished 1,619 of those so far in her career, landing over 500 each of her first three seasons. Alexa is a two-time MaxPreps All-American and earned status as an American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour High School Phenom.

Our feature also landed us the unique opportunity to record the first-ever parent interview with Alexa’s father, 1983 NBA champion Frank Edwards, a first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1981. He operates the admission table during St. Francis volleyball matches. Most attendees have no idea they are being greeted by an eight-year pro.

Alexa Edwards, St. Francis Volleyball

Frank said he has always loved volleyball, but had to reeducate himself on the sport in order to be a volleyball dad. He also said he appreciates how well-rounded the Jesuit culture helps student-athletes become.

“It’s helped her become more compassionate about giving, and allowed her to see a different side of herself outside of sports, which is huge,” Frank said. “I would say (Alexa) is a committed, great person, the kind of person who would help anybody.

“She’s a great daughter, and I know a lot of parents would say that about their kid, but she really is. She’s handled all of her success far better than I would at that age.”

Frank has two rules as a sports dad. First, he is committed to never force Alexa to do anything, including practices and competition. He’s also instituted the one-hour rule.

“We never speak about the results of a game after one hour,” he explained. “I want to teach her that the key to sports is no matter how good or bad you played, you move on and the sun will come up tomorrow.”

Alexa, a previous SportStars cover athlete, thanked her parents, her coaches, her teammates, the athletic department at St. Francis and the fans who contributed votes during SportStars’ search for an inaugural “Day in the Life” athlete. She said students in the technology class at her old middle school, St. Ignatius, voted each day during their technology class.

Her teammates also voted. We followed a crew of them at Loehmann’s Plaza Shopping Center in Sacramento, where the bustle of laughter, sneakers and school unis migrated from shop to shop. JACKS Urban Eats and Nothing Bundt Cakes were Alexa’s favorite destinations this time. She will grab Chipotle and Pinkberry on the next trip.

Back at school, we learned that Alexa isn’t afraid of the dark (films).

“I love horror movies,” she said. “I started watching them when I was 10 — any slasher movie or horror book. I’m really excited during Halloween season.

“It gives me a rush.”

Alexa Edwards, St. Francis VolleyballAlexa also loves to dance. She grooved to “Nonstop” by Drake during the Troubadours pre-match ritual, a sort-of dance party in the dark, outside the south entrance of the gym. The team continues the party outside the team locker room and busts into the court on the beats of “New Level” by A$AP Ferg. The squad also dances after matches, home or away.

It’s not a routine you get into without a real strong bond between players.

“I just have an overwhelming sense of family when I come here,” Alexa said. “My team hypes me up.”

It’s easy to hype up a player who has seen St. Francis win 97 of 129 matches since she joined the starting lineup as a freshman. In the last two seasons, Alexa has aided in a 191-56 set advantage against opposition.

“It’s been really fun to see her grow, not only as a player, but as a leader,” St. Francis coach Alynn Wright said. “Its like having a second coach on the court.

“She’s just a blessing to be able to work with, humble as they come.”

Back at school, Alexa loves her algebra studies. However, she is captivated by the civil rights movement of the 1960s she’s learned about in history.

“That’s really inspired me because civil rights is still a big issue today,” she said. “So that has really inspired me more to speak out more about stuff and always be open to people speaking to me about their issues, and just trying to be the best person I can be.”

Alexa is interested in a career in law enforcement and should depart UOP with the skills necessary to succeed in that path. She’s poised to achieve anything she devotes her energy to.

You only need a day in her life to see that.

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