Edwardsville's Aaliyah Box (Photo by Dan Brannan)

EDWARDSVILLEAaliyah Box has been a part of Edwardsville's girls basketball program for several years now. Success has been one of the things the senior forward has experienced since being a part of the program. And being a part of the program is something that Box has really enjoyed in her high school years, as she'll cheerfully acknowledge anyone who asks.

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“It does mean a lot to me being a part of the Edwardsville program,” the 5-foot-8 Box said. “It's built a bond between myself and my teammates that'll be a part of our lives for many years. It's also taught me quite a bit of life skills that will help me as I go forward with my life, how to work together with others, how important teamwork is in anything you try and experience.”

Her contributions to the team this season have been big; Box is averaging 3.4 points a game, shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line, plus has averaged 1.7 rebounds a game, 2.76 assists per game and 1.43 steals per game. She is a player who contributes to the Tigers’ success in every facet of the game on offense and defense.

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“I've been playing basketball since I was in third grade,” Box said. “I like the aggressiveness I can play the game with and the joy of playing hard and helping to contribute to the success of the team.”

Box's approach to basketball has been modeled after one of her favorite players, Rajon Rondo of the NBA's Sacramento Kings; he's been a part of championship teams after playing for Kentucky before entering the NBA with the Boston Celtics, who he helped lead to an NBA title in 2008 over the Los Angeles Lakers. Rondo has also played with the Dallas Mavericks before joining the Kings for this season.

“He helps makes contributions to the success of the teams he's played for,” Box said of Rondo's NBA career.

Box hopes to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago after her graduation from Edwardsville this spring; Roosevelt is an NAIA school.

Box is planning on majoring in psychology and hopes to work for the government following her college graduation or perhaps start her own business.

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