All roads lead to Georgia State

Georgia State Senior Alaysia Mitchell drives to the hoop for a layup during a game against Allen University, Nov. 16. Photo by Dylan Jones | The Signal
Georgia State Senior Alaysia Mitchell drives to the hoop for a layup during a game against Allen University, Nov. 16.
Photo by Dylan Jones | The Signal

Georgia State women’s basketball team has the luxury of having five seniors on its team this season. Haley Gerrin, Tiffany Holston, Tatianna Jackson, Alaysia Mitchell, and Taleah Williams. Four of those five, all took a few pit stops before finally finding a home at Georgia State.

Gerrin, a Clarkesville, Georgia native has been at Georgia State for her entire collegiate career. She is the longest tenured player on the roster.

“The knowledge that I have, and I’ve had the same head coach so I know what she expects of us and I can help show everyone else,” Gerrin said.

Her freshman season didn’t start off too great for her, because she was forced to miss some time due to injury. Despite the injury, she was still able to average a little over 7 points, and 4 rebounds per game.

Last season she ranked fifth on the team in scoring with 6.4 points per game, while averaging 3.4 rebounds per game.

Gerrin doesn’t exactly know what she is going to do after basketball, but her dream is opening, and running her own pre-school.

Holston is one of the newest members of the team, and the newest senior. She comes to Georgia State by way of Albany State. Holston loves basketball, but that isn’t the reason she came to Georgia State.

“I seen that they had a good exercise science program, so I was definitely focused on that, and realizing that I had another year left so I wanted to come and help this team,” Holston said.

While at Albany State, Holston definitely made an impact and was a decorated player. She is a former player in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), freshman of the year, defensive player of the year, and player of the year. She has also made several All-SIAC teams, and several NCAA D-II All-South region teams.

“ I can definitely say, seeing the floor more and talking and communicating,” Holston said after pondering what she could improve. “As far as scoring, that’s something that I know I can do, but communicating with my team, staying focused and seeing the floor more.”

This season Holston is averaging 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while being a decorated player, and having an excellent start to this season, playing basketball after college isn’t her goal.

“I may continue, but that’s not really my main focus, I’m just trying to get a lot of degrees so I can expand myself and grow as a person,” Holston said. “I’m definitely looking at being an athletic trainer for pro athletes.”

Jackson is an Atlanta native, but after high school she decided to go away and attend Chattanooga. While at Chattanooga, she was selected to the Southern Conference All- Freshman team. During that season she averaged 5.6 points per game, and 3.5 rebounds per game.

“I think I’ve gotten smarter, and I think that I’ve developed more of a jump shot. At Chatt I didn’t really shoot that much and here I think I’ve really worked on that aspect of my game,” Jackson said.

Jackson decided to transfer to Georgia State and the decision to transfer was a no-brainer.

“Well they recruited me out of high school, so I knew coach BT. I knew the coaches and I visited here. I loved the squad, I loved the team and I wanted to be back home,” Jackson said.

Her first season at Georgia State was shortened due to a knee injury. That was tough for her, but she was still able to average over 6 points in her 17 games last season. She also displayed her improved jump shot, by nailing 13 three pointers.

“It was tough, especially the basketball aspect, not being able to play and practice, but it helped me grow as a player and it helped me academically too, to be able to focus on academics more than basketball,” Jackson said.

Her academic focus did help, as Jackson made the Dean’s List for the 2016 spring semester. On the court, she’s averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

One of the more traveled seniors is Williams. She is from Maryland, where after high school she attended Garden City Community College. She admitted that it has been tough on her and her family.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve always wanted to get away from home leaving high school. So going to Kansas was pretty far, but for me it was just moving on up, keep growing, and just being able to do what I love to do, which is play basketball,” Williams


This season through three games, she is averaging 2.5 points, and 2 rebounds per game.

Mitchell isn’t far behind Williams in the well traveled category. She started her career at Towson before transferring to Pensacola State, and eventually finding her home at Georgia State. At Pensacola State, she was selected to the All-Panhandle first-team.

“It’s been a struggle, but God doesn’t make mistakes. From towson, to Pensacola, to Georgia State, I’ve gotten better and I’m just happy to be here,” Mitchell said.

Her improvements were on display last season, as she was fourth on the team in scoring last season averaging 7.3 points, in addition to 5 rebounds per game as well. This season, she is averaging 5.7 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game. Her game-high this season is 14 points against Allen University, a match-up where she also almost pulled off a double-double with nine rebounds.

Despite the different paths that they’ve all taken to get to Georgia State. They are excited to be playing for the Panthers, and looking forward to making their last seaon count.