Queen Alford Stats
Senior year (2016-17)
- 32 games played
- Points per game: 9.3
- 2-point percentage: 41.7
- 3-point percentage: 28.3
- Free throw percentage: 71.4
Junior year (2015-2016).
- 32 games played
- 2-point percentage: 10.9
- 3-point percentage: 38.5
- Free throw percentage: 75.9
During the two seasons Queen Alford was allowed to play basketball at UTC—she was redshirted for the first year under NCCA rules—the team went 45-19 (.703). UTC won the regular season and the Southern Conference Tournament all three years Alford was on the team. Her final season, the team won its fifth consecutive SoCon regular season and conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Finals for a fifth time.
After waking up in the morning, Queen Alford doesn’t wander around in a daze, waiting for the coffee to kick in.
“I don’t know for everybody else, but when I wake up I have a sense of urgency to go and do things,” she says.
And she has.
Alford, a transfer student who played on the UTC Mocs women’s basketball team in her junior and senior years, now works for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., that coordinates programs focusing on African American issues.
A 2017 graduate with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in political science, she now is enrolled in graduate school at American University in the city and plans to earn her master’s in strategic communications in December.
“What I’m interested in being is a political advocate,” she says. She’d like to join the staffs of Democratic candidates for public office. maybe one day take a run at being elected as a senator herself. Maybe write a screenplay about her experiences.
For now, through her work with the Black Caucus, she is “truly an advocate for the global black community and to build it up,” she says.
Earlier this year, the organization helped her land a position in the office of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York and minority leader in the chamber. Although technically an intern, she says she took on the role of a deputy press assistant, which included such duties as doing research, drafting press releases and gathering talking points for the senators speeches and conference presentations.
With her expanded responsibilities, she got a behind-the-doors look at the way congressional politics work.
“I was able to do a lot of stuff, a lot of things such as attend certain meetings and conferences,” she explains.
She began her life as a basketball player at Jacksonville University in Florida. After two years, however, she wanted to play on a team filled by players with more experience and a coach with the same credentials. She found both at UTC with coach Jim Foster.
As an added bonus, she says, UTC is only a couple of hours away from her parents in Atlanta.
In the SoCon championship game against Mercer University in her senior year, she was instrumental in the team’s comeback from a 13-point deficit late in the third quarter, scoring seven straight points and cutting the 48-43 less than a minute to play into the final quarter. The Mocs won the game, marking the team’s fifth straight SoCon title.
“Queen is an energy force for us off the bench,” head coach Jim Foster said after the game. “She brings a little extra juice for us. When she gets on fire, you keep going her way. She felt it, and you could sense it. They players sensed it, and she came up with some big baskets. She was ready.”
After graduating, Alford focused on pursuing a professional career in basketball and received offers from a couple of teams in Ireland. The money wasn’t good and she turned the offers down, she says, leaving her unmoored and uncertain what to do.
“I found myself in a bit of a hole because I really didn’t know what avenue to take,” she says, but eventually “I decided to not be afraid anymore.”
“I stepped outside of that platform, decided to be an advocate and started my political journey.”
She’s now convinced that she took the right path.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was very difficult, but I look back and see why things happened the way they were supposed to happen,” Alford says.
From here on out, her primary goal is to be “a voice for the voiceless.”
“I’ve always been very grateful that people have come in and out of my life,” she says. “The people who’ve I’ve encountered in my journey have opened my eyes to other things.
“I aspire to be more than what I was exposed to as a little girl,” she says. “I wanted someone who could speak up for me, empower me. That little girl is all grown up is able to be that same person to someone else.”