WBB walk-on proves she is more than just a baller

Photograph Courtesy of David Morgan

Emma Kramer


Aliyah Stephens was never recruited to play basketball here at Ursinus. She came for academic purposes solely, but her stats have led her to becoming one of the integral players on the Ursinus College Women’s Basketball team. Stephens, a junior guard, potentially has the chance to reach 1,000 career points this upcoming season. But there is way more to this student athlete than just blocks, steals, and 3’s, making her a unique student here.

“So I came to Ursinus because I got the extraordinary opportunity to be a research fellow the summer of my freshman year coming …. I worked in Dr. Round’s cellular neurobiology lab over the summer for four weeks. And I got a mentor. Her name was Jordan Carla. She was a senior and I got to learn from her and Dr. Round both the summer before my freshman year. So I came into school with a bunch of research skills that no other person in my grade had. So that was a unique opportunity that no other school offered me.” 

Stephens wanted to find a school where she could focus on her academics, specifically to get her on a pre-med track. In Ursinus, she found a college with a prestigious academic program in the medical field. Now, she is on the biology pre-med  track with minors in Chemistry and Health Sciences. She is also involved with community service as a Bonner Fellow, and works as a faculty research fellow in the cellular neurobiology research lab with Dr. Round, as Community Service Chair of the Phi Alpha Psi sorority, as an academic tutor for biology, as Vice President of the Brownback-Andrea Pre-Health Society, and the Head Residential Advisor. In 2017, Stephens decided to walk on to the UCWB team.

One of her coaches had a lot to say about Stephens’ individual character on and off the court. “She smiles at challenges. She holds herself to high goals and puts in the work to make them happen. She is someone you want on your team be it on the basketball court or just in life in general. She naturally takes people under her wing and holds herself and those around her to shared values and goals. She’s an incredible vocal leader and I’ve seen her gain more confidence as she’s taken her game to new levels. Even with as heavily involved on campus she is, she focuses in where she’s at and gives her 110%. Her ability to structure her schedule to do this is remarkable. Her average Friday she not only has classes and practice but also volunteers in an Assisted Living Home AND a low-cost health clinic in Phoenixville. Her sense of commitment and care regardless of who she is around is truly inspirational.”

Last season Stephens was ranked third in the Centennial Conference in blocks, and fourth in steals. Currently she is at 623 career points, only 166 points behind where UCWB career leading scorer Lydia Konstanzer was at this point entering her junior year. Stephens ended her freshman year season with 231 points, and she scored 329 by the end of her sophomore year. This star guard is looking towards hitting her 1,000th career point potentially this season. 

Aliyah Stephens is truly an inspirational student here at Ursinus College. With every task, goal, and commitment she has, Aliyah gives nothing less than her all.