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Through competitive spirit, Coverson earns way to college hoops

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Notre Dame Basketball
Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Notre Dame Basketball

In elementary school, Kalia Coverson’s father saw something in her future.

Coverson, now a senior forward/center for St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda, played soccer for awhile. But then she started growing, and her father encouraged her to chase the hardwood.

“My dad was like, ‘Oh, basketball is for you.’ And so I just joined basketball, and then I just started getting really good at it and started working at it a lot around seventh, eighth grade,” Coverson said. “And then we knew that this was really going to be it for me.”

Basketball was in Coverson’s blood. Everyone knew it. 

However, it was not always easy for her to reach this point.

She transferred in her sophomore year, and she couldn’t really play at that time. A lot of stuff was going on. She only appeared in 10 games that year, as St. Joe’s won 22 games and captured a league championship.

“So I think for me it was just knowing that like I was just that secret little light that was coming to the team and was really going to boost the energy for the team and make the team better,” Coverson said. “I think that I’m just that secret thing.”

And becoming that secret – and not so secret – talent for St. Joe’s is just what Coverson did.

What stands out about Coverson is her aggressiveness, unafraid to go toe to toe with anyone. She’ll be everywhere on the court at all times, never taking a play off in games or a repetition off in practices.

All of that translated into Coverson’s impact for this St. Joe’s program, as her junior season featured her and the Pilots winning a North Coast Section Open Division title.

“I like to go at it,” Coverson said. “I will dive on the floor. I think I’m always the one on the floor, but I like to just go after it. I’m very aggressive. I’m always in their face. I’m very on the defensive side more than offense. That’s really me.”

Coverson earned her way to a commitment to Whitman College, a Division III school in Walla Walla, Washington. She will sign there in February.

The decision was far more than just about basketball, too, with everything – from her career aspirations, to the relationships with the coaches and teammates – leaving her in awe.

“I love the team and the coaching staff,” Coverson said. “Everything that when I went to visit they provided for me. It was very nice, but what I also liked about the school was the education and everything because for me I personally want to go on with my education more than basketball and I want to become a neurosurgeon. That’s my long end goal, and they have a good bio program there, so that’s also why I chose there.”

Even more is on the way for Coverson ahead of her senior campaign.

Despite the challenges in the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was adjusting to the norm of not being able to train with the team, yet it taught Coverson more and led her to more growth as a student-athlete while working on her conditioning, shooting and dribbling – something her and her father have really focused on together.

“Now what it’s really taught me is that I need to be responsible and maintain my own type of workouts and stuff since I don’t get to go see everybody every single day,” Coverson said. “I have to do everything on my own now, so it’s really taught me to maintain everything that I have to do on my own.”

Before Coverson heads to Whitman, she wants to end her high school days with the greatest of banners.

“For me, my goal is to win state, to play and win state,” Coverson said. “That is all our goals.”

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