Sevillian ready to lead Iowa women’s basketball in 2020-21

Sevillian is a senior and a second-year captain for the women’s basketball team.


Nichole Harris

Iowa guard Alexis Sevillian drives the ball to the hoop during a women’s basketball between Iowa and Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers 97-71.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

After losing star players like Megan Gustafson and Kathleen Doyle in the past two years, the Iowa women’s basketball team needs a new leader for the 2020-21 season.

That leader is Alexis Sevillian.

As a senior and a second-year captain, Sevillian has the most experience on and off the court on the team.

After being redshirted as a freshman in the 2016-17 season, Sevillian has been a consistent three-year starter for the Hawkeyes.

In the 2017-18 season – her first full season on the court – Sevillian appeared in 31 games with 23 starts. She led the team with 59 three-pointers made – tied for most as a freshman in program history.

In the following season, Sevillian played in all 36 games, and helped Iowa to a Big Ten Championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Her junior season, and first year as a captain, Sevillian played and started 29 games. She averaged 6.7 points per game.

As a second-year captain, Sevillian has become accustomed to her role as a leader on the court. While that hasn’t changed her view of her teammates, it has given her a different perspective overall.

“I think, personally, I have a good sense of leadership, but it definitely gives a different perspective,” Sevillian said. “Because you’re able to not only have your own values or your own beliefs but also like be able to understand the different backgrounds that people come from and their mindsets.”

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Sevillian’s senior season will be plagued with unexpected hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before official practices even started, some members of the team contracted the virus. Since practice started, the Hawkeyes have learned how to play basketball while wearing masks.

Official team practices started on Wednesday, and the season is set to start on Nov. 25, although a schedule has yet to be released.

Sevillian said that with all of the uncertainty around the season, she has been struggling to find motivation both as a player and as a captain.

“Just being able to find that motivation with so many unknown answers kind of has been a struggle,” Sevillian said. “But now that we’ve been able to have like consistent practices, and you know [Wednesday] was our first official practice leading up to November 25th, I think that’s helped a lot.”

Luckily for Sevillian, this season doesn’t have to be her last.

With the NCAA’s announcement on Wednesday that all winter sport athletes – no matter how much or how little they play – will be granted another year of eligibility, Sevillian has the chance to become a sixth-year senior and a possible three-year captain.

Off the court, Sevillian is active in multiple initiatives around campus. She serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair of the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC), a group that represents student-athletes on campus, in the conference, and in the NCAA.

Sevillian is also involved in the Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition that was founded by Commissioner Kevin Warren earlier this summer.

Head coach Lisa Bluder said that she is grateful for Sevillian’s experience and leadership on and off the court.

“As a fifth-year senior, she’s the most experienced player on our team,” Bluder said. “She’s a very good leader, very involved in ISAAC and is also very involved in the DEI initiative on campus, so I’m just really proud of her leadership.”

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