New Women's Head Basketball Coach at HHS

New Women's Head Basketball Coach at HHS
Posted on 08/09/2022
Alicia Abernathy

Hickory High Hires New Women’s Basketball Coach


HICKORY… Alicia Abernathy is returning home to Hickory High (HHS) to coach the women’s Tornado basketball team. Only this time, instead of serving as Assistant Coach, she has been selected to lead the Tornadoes as the new Head Coach.

As a coach for the past ten years, Abernathy most recently served as Assistant Coach at Saint Stephen’s High School where she gained valuable experience with the team finishing third in the conference with a 9-5 record, making it to the first round of playoff contention to lose to Ashe County. “This was big coming from a 3-game winning season from last year,” said Abernathy.

Back in 2014 during Abernathy’s first year coaching for Hickory High’s JV team, they finished their season undefeated with a 16-0 record. Following that season, she was moved up to Assistant Coach with the varsity team. Serving under retired Head Coach Barbara Helms, HHS won the 2015-2016 State 3A Championship, finishing the season with a 31-0 record.

During Abernathy’s previous years at HHS (2017-2019) before joining Saint Stephens High., she continued to coach the JV women’s team and assist the varsity women’s team—with winning records.

Abernathy’s passion for basketball strengthened during her high school years while a student at Hickory High. She was selected as State Player of the Year her senior year. She played for winning state championships in back-to-back seasons of 1998 and 1999 before heading to play at UNC-Charlotte with a full scholarship. She experienced additional success at UNC-Charlotte as the team won Conference USA and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Professionally, Abernathy played in Luxembourg (northwestern Europe). She averaged 22 points per game and 11 rebounds. She ended her playing career with a semi-pro team playing in the U.S. and South America.

In addition to coaching for Hickory High this coming school year, Abernathy will be teaching physical education. Through the years, she has acquired a great deal of experience in the classroom having served as a teacher assistant for Exceptional Children (EC) from elementary through high school. She has also served as a teacher for the EC program at Hickory High from 2014-2017 and as the In-School Suspension Coordinator. Most recently, since August 2020, she served as Online Facilitator for Catawba County Schools.

While studying at UNC-Charlotte, Abernathy earned a Bachelor of Science in both Sociology and Criminal Justice in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in African and African American Studies.

Abernathy leads with high expectations of her athletes. To ensure success for a basketball season, Abernathy expects the team players to excel on and off the court. “As a coach, I want these young ladies to understand their attitude should always be respectful to their teachers, classmates, and teammates. I have zero tolerance for disrespect of any kind.

“I would like to have an open line of communication with teachers and families. We will have bi-weekly grade checks and check-ins with each other. We will also implement a NO-ZERO policy with the grade checks. I would like Hickory High’s staff to know that as a coach, we are supporting their classroom environment alongside the student-athletes, with the emphasis on being a student first. In turn, I would love for the teachers to come out and support the athletes. I will expect the players to work hard and smart; making hard work their passion,” said Abernathy.

“We are excited to have Hickory High alum, Alicia Abernathy, return home. Coach Abernathy is skilled in basketball as a player and as a coach. It is my belief that she will continue the tradition of excellence for our program in working to move our women’s team to the next level,” said Hickory High Principal, Rebecca Tuttle.

“It’s good to be back where it all began for me,” said Abernathy. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to be coaching and teaching at my alma mater because opportunities like this don’t come along very often. I am excited to help these young ladies grow and succeed both on and off the court, as well as to build and create a new legacy here at Hickory High. Stay tuned to find out what the future has in store for us this season. As always, go Red Tornadoes!”


(Post by HPS Director of Communications,
Beverly Snowden)

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