CEDAR RAPIDS — Thud, thud, thud. Her heart pounding in her chest.
Thoughts are running wild through her mind. Uncharted territory, a place to find good opportunities and grow stronger.
On Aug. 31, junior Alexis Beier officially retired her title as a Linn-Mar Lion and became a Xavier Saint in order to achieve her dreams in girls’ basketball.
“My transition to Xavier has been awesome,” Beier said. “All the teachers have been super sweet and multiple teachers have checked up on me and in my transition since the year began.”
Although teachers have helped make her transition smoother, Beier admitted being on the basketball team has kept her motivated to stay positive in her new environment.
“There were times at the beginning of the school year where I was really questioning the switch and struggling overall,” she said. “When basketball started, it was just nice to have that feeling that people are excited to see you everyday and love having you around.”
Beier also expressed how the change to a new team was easy because of her prior connections to the other juniors from playing basketball with them on their elementary team, the Bulldogs, and on her club team, Team Iowa.
One person who has really taken Beier under their wing this year is Aree Beckmann, also a junior on the Saints’ basketball team.
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“I know I can always talk to Aree if I’m struggling at practice or with school,” Beier said. “She’s so encouraging and she has so much confidence in me it’s super contagious.”
Beckmann has been very pleased with Beier’s move to Xavier and her contribution to the basketball team.
“Alexis has a lot of energy and really keeps things alive on the court,” Beckmann said. “I wanted to make sure she felt like a part of the family and that everyone treated her like family too in order to help her feel comfortable so she can play to the best of her ability.”
Another person who has had a huge impact on helping Beier feel welcome is girls’ basketball coach Tom Lilly.
“Alexis has the emotional intelligence to fit wherever she lays her hat,” Lilly said. “She has a confidence that radiates towards others.”
Lilly also mentioned how noticeable it is that Beier wants to be successful and, because of that, she expects a lot from herself. He was not wrong when he talked about Beier setting big goals for herself.
“I want to grow as a player, gain leadership skills and prove that I am not the same player that left Linn-Mar,” Beier said.
Lilly has no doubt Beier will meet her goals.
“My analogy is making soup,” Lily said. “Every player on the team adds a specific flavor, get the right mix and everyone will find it to their liking.”