BAUXITE – For the second consecutive year, the Bauxite Lady Miners are sending another player out with a college basketball scholarship. After all-time leading scorer Mary Crow signed with Arkansas Tech last year, 5-10 small forward Allison Tackett signed to play for the Southern Arkansas University Lady Muleriders on Thursday morning at Fred Dawson Gym in Bauxite.
“She’s the most passionate, hardest worker I’ve ever coached,” Lady Miners Coach Josh Harrison said. “I’ve coached some really good players and some hard-working players, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one as competitive and hard-working than what Allison is.”
Tackett said her decision to attend SAU was a pretty easy one.
“It was just the best fit for me,” Tackett said. “It’s not too far away from home, but it’s far enough. I just really love the coaches and atmosphere.”
Tackett, who is a two-time 7-4A All-Conference performer and also an honorable mention her sophomore season, was second in Saline County in scoring this past season with a 12.3 average. She also averaged seven rebounds, two steals and two assists for the Lady Miners. Not only is SAU getting a competitive player and hard worker, but the Lady Muleriders are getting an excellent outside threat in Tackett.
“To me she’s a shooter,” Harrison said. “She’s one of the best shooters I’ve had. She’s so smart about the game. She knows how to move and cut. She started off as a four (power forward), we moved her to a three (small forward) in senior high and she started all three years.”
Though the Muleriders have an abundance of seniors for the upcoming season, Tackett is not deterred.
“Well they have  seniors right now,” she said, “so I’m going to work as hard as I can to get as much time as I can on the court, but nothing’s promised.”
“I know they have 12 seniors down there, and she may red-shirt this year,” Harrison added, “but she’s going to work her tail off in whatever role she’s in. She’s going to surprise a lot of people. I think she’s going to be a better college player than she is high school because of her work ethic. She’s going to get stronger and have a chance to continue her skills.
“I think there’s a lot of colleges that missed out on her. I think SAU got a good one in Allison. I’m excited to be making that drive to Magnolia. Now I’ve got to split time going to Russellville and Magnolia to watch my girls play. There will be twice a year where I’ll get to see them match up with each other. It’ll be interesting to see if Mary [Crow] and Allison guard each other.”
Tackett plans to study kinesiology and wants to become a physical therapist, and also said SAU sees her as a contributor in the future.
“They liked the way I moved without the ball and the way I shoot,” Tackett said. “They said they can definitely see me as an asset to the team.”
“She’s worked extremely hard to get this opportunity,” Harrison said, “so I’m just excited for her and her parents to get a chance to play at the next level. She’s going to be successful in everything she does, I have no doubt.”