SAN ANTONIO – At 10 years old, Alexus Cook initially resisted trying the sport for which she’s now getting a college scholarship. She had lost her leg in a car accident just three years prior and was not keen on participating in any activity that would draw attention to her wheelchair.
“At the age of 10 I didn’t want to do this,” Alexus said. “I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair. But now I’m glad that this door has opened. I see multiple more doors open as I continue my life and I’m excited.”
Her mother, Tamika Cook, echoed Alexus’ sentiments that she didn’t want to play but said her daughter was drawn to the sport after her first made basket.
“That day at the clinic she made her first basket and that was it,” said Cook. “It was over...she was hooked, she was hooked, she made that first basket and was like, ‘I’m here let’s do this, when’s my first practice?’”
Alexus first began playing adaptive sports in 2013 through South Texas Regional Adaptive and Para Sports (STRAPS) and has since played wheelchair basketball for several organizations, most recently as a member of the Dallas Lady Mavericks, whom she has been playing with since September 2018. Throughout her time playing, she’s been a regular fixture on all-tournament teams and has won multiple tournament MVP awards. Her hard work has translated into a scholarship and an opportunity to join the Lady Movin’ Mavs basketball program – a team that has won two National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Championships.
“I’m always willing to get better and I’m excited to get better and I’m excited to have their knowledge and learn from my fellow teammates next year,” Alexus said.
George Gervin, former Spur, 1996 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee and founder of the charter school bearing his name was on hand to celebrate Alexus’ signing day.
“She’s showing other people that handicap is mental,” Gervin said. “You know, you gotta get up, you gotta move, you gotta believe in yourself and that's what Alexus is doing.”
Equally impressive is Alexus’ list of scholastic and extracurricular accolades, which includes a 4.0 GPA, serving as the Student Council Vice President and the distinction of Salutatorian for her graduating class. She wants others to know that with hard work and determination, obstacles can be overcome.
“If it’s your mind that’s telling you that you can’t, fight back because you’re strong enough and everyone has that strength.”