For Sierra Afoa, school and sports have always been intertwined. Her coach/referee father Stan and her mom, Sarah — a two-sport athlete for the Seawolves, with two UAA education degrees — stressed that balance early. On Sunday afternoons, while Sarah graded homework in her classroom at Gladys Wood Elementary, the Afoa kids shot hoops in the school gym. Academics and athletics have been interconnected from the start.

That's in part why Sierra decided to hang up the basketball jersey, even though she had one more season of eligibility at UAA. Since she could graduate in 2017, it made sense to wrap up her basketball career as well.

The decision wasn't easy. “It was a yearlong process, just thinking about it,” she said. “I know how much my family loves watching me play, and I know how much I love basketball.” But, with a high GPA, a degree in social work and a yearlong internship on the résumé, she says she's ready “to take the next step forward.”

...READ THE REST OF SIERRA'S STORY IN THE GREEN & GOLD NEWS ...