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It's a Sweet 1,000 for MCCC Basketball Player


The Vikings took time to celebrate sophomore forward Alexis Sweet's 1,000-point milestone (center, with ball) following the game on Jan. 23.

Photo by Mike Dill.

West Windsor, N.J. - Alexis Sweet has just been added to the record books at Mercer County Community College. On Jan. 23, she became the fourth woman in MCCC basketball history to earn 1,000 points in her two seasons as a Viking. And she still has three weeks to go in the regular season.

Sweet's momentous basket came in the second half of the Vikings' 71-40 rout over Camden County College. Following the basket, the 5'8" sophomore forward shed her "game face" and indulged in an emotional moment as she was swarmed by her teammates and coach.

She explained that she had been absorbed in the game and was taken by surprise when the action was halted and Head Coach Mike Tenaglia presented her with a plaque to honor her achievement.

"I just burst out crying," Sweet said. "I was overwhelmed."

Still, she got back to business quickly enough after the ceremony, sinking a free throw to make it 1,001.

This Dean's List student has good reason to savor the moment. As a freshman at Trenton Central High School, she was already making major contributions on varsity, but her 10th and 11th grade years were marred by injury. She returned to the court in her senior year, helping Trenton earn the State Championship and being named the game MVP.

In the two years she was unable to play, Sweet says she missed many recruiting opportunities to four-year schools. "That's when you get established, but I was kind of late. So I decided to make the best of my opportunities at Mercer."

She has shined on the court, averaging 23.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. Notes Coach Tenaglia, "Alexis has been our leader on offense and in rebounds for two years. She has been one of the top ten scorers in the nation in both of her seasons at Mercer. It's a different team when Alexis is on the court."

Going up for the momentous basket. Photo by Mike Dill.
Sweet is congratulated by teammate Azaria Crews
(on the injured list).
Photo by Mike Dill.

Majoring in Criminal Justice, Sweet has also proven a capable student who is on track to being selected as a National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All-American by the end of the semester. She is currently weighing her options to transfer to a Div. I school to continue her playing career.

Sweet joins an elite foursome. In Coach Tenaglia's 20 years, two other players have hit the magic milestone, Maleena Edwards in 1998 and Patti Foley in 2007. Maleena went on to play at Rowan University and Foley played a solid two years for Georgian Court University. The fourth player, Terry Dorner, dates back to the 1970s. Dorner continued her career at Rutgers and was inducted into the MCCC Hall of Fame in 2003.

Sweet notes that adversity has helped her reshape her priorities. "Before I was hurt, I was very confident. I was more focused on basketball than anything else. But I got back on track. I believe in God first and then basketball. I have my foundation and I know where I'm from."

She also has a good idea of where she is going. After she earns her associate degree this spring, she is considering pursuing her bachelor's degree in psychology. "My goal is to help troubled youth," she says.

She commends her Mercer teammates and coach, who have helped her grow and mature. "They are very happy for me," she says. "It feels great to get that support."

She also has fond words for her professors. Acknowledging several instructors who have been excellent, she singles out Criminal Justice faculty member Liz Bondurant for special praise. "I take every class I can with her. I am never bored!" She adds that her instructors have been flexible when her basketball schedule conflicts with classroom time, noting that she has to work even harder outside the classroom. "You have to do the readings; you have to put in the time on your own," she says.

Coach Tenaglia is proud of his talented player, but is always thinking about the future. "I am trying to prepare Alexis for the next step. You have to continue to get up and down the court and work at your game."

Still, the thousand-point milestone was true affirmation for this Mercer star and a "Sweet" opportunity for a much-deserved pat on the back.

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