When the final whistle blew marking the end of the Monacan High School Chiefs’ 2013 basketball season, sisters Micaela and Alex Parson cried because they had thought they would never get the chance to play basketball together again.
Little did they know, they would wear the same jersey once again at Richmond – the same place where both of their parents attended law school.
Micaela is in her sophomore season at Richmond, and Alex, a junior at Monacan, gave her verbal commitment to the Spiders earlier this fall. When she enters as a freshman, Micaela will be a senior.
Micaela said that she had always known in the back of her mind that Alex would choose Richmond -- that was not a surprise to her. What was a surprise, however, was when Alex had wanted to play basketball in the first place.
“She was the typical pretty girl," Micaela said. "She wanted to play with makeup all the time and not even touch sports. She was not into it at all."
One day, after watching Micaela play, Alex told her family she wanted to give basketball a try.
“Alex didn’t get much play time at first because she didn’t have much experience,” Micaela said, “but then one day, a light just switched on, and we were like, ‘Wow, this kid can play.’”
From then on, Micaela and Alex were able to grow their skills together. They both understand one another’s strengths and weaknesses, so they make an effort to go to each other’s games and confer about what could have been done better afterward.
Both sisters had similar recruitment processes with multiple schools looking at them early on in their high school careers, but both wanted to stay in-state for college. They are from Chesterfield, Virginia, about a 30-minute drive from campus.
Micaela brought Alex to practice in August so that she could get a better feel for the team dynamic. Their parents had been pressuring Alex to commit to Richmond beforehand, but after the practice was when Alex knew that it was the right decision for her to make.
“At first I didn’t want to follow in Micaela’s footsteps," Alex said. "But then I realized that we both bring something different to the table.”
Alex spoke to Micaela before telling the coaches about her decision. Because of her sister, Alex already felt at home with the sophomore class, but the coaching staff was ultimately what motivated her to join the team.
Both girls play point guard, but Micaela is working to become a combo guard as well because she is taller. Alex’s strengths include shooting and ball-handling, while Micaela is better at getting to the basket, being strong and rebounding.
“It’s different playing with teammates you’ve played with for a long time," Micaela said. "This is my sister. We play for each other on and off the court. She’s also my assister. We’re good at getting each other the ball and keeping each other in the game.”
Alex admits that there will probably be bumps along the way, but knows that they are mature enough and have a close enough friendship that they will be able to be respect and help each other.
Not only do both sisters love basketball, they also both want to be biology majors. Micaela is currently on track for medical school with the intention of being a pediatrician or pediatric surgeon. Her love for children was spurred by working at Monkey Joe’s over the summer while she was in high school.
Alex said that she has had no life aside from basketball, but is a self-admitted Grey’s Anatomy addict. And the thing she is most looking forward to on campus is the dining hall. “It’s pretty great,” she said.
When the fall of 2017 comes around, Alex will finally get to don a blue and red jersey and get unlimited access to the dining hall. Until then, Micaela and Alex will be pursuing their own basketball goals.
Monacan High School was 4-A state champions last season, and Alex will be seeking the back-to-back title this winter as a captain of her team.
Micaela and the rest of the Spider women’s basketball team play their first game this Friday, November 13 at 1 p.m. in the Robins Center against Old Dominion.
“We have a really big and a really good guard group," Micaela said. "Our goal this year is to be the best guard group in the conference. We’re fast, and we can score, so it’s looking really good.”
Contact sports assistant Jennie Trejo at firstname.lastname@example.org