Alycia Brickhouse couldn’t have written a better script herself.
Then again, maybe she could.
Brickhouse is a sophomore at Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush High School. Last year, she came into the school hoping to get some playing time in her two sports, soccer and basketball. She didn’t just get time, she became starters and stars in both sports.
“I was hoping to play, but a lot of time, you sit the bench,” said Brickhouse, a point guard in basketball and forward and defender in soccer. “I was really happy when I found out I was going to be playing. I played a lot.
“I started playing when I was like 7 at Fox Chase and I like it a lot. When I started playing, we wore shirts, we weren’t even wearing jerseys, and I was a good player, but I’m trying to get better, so it was fun coming in and playing a lot right away. I didn’t expect it at all.”
Brickhouse didn’t just start playing right away. She started playing well right away.
As a freshman, she was the leading scorer on the team as the Knights went on to once again win the Public League Class AAA championship.
It was the fourth straight season they claimed that honor.
Winning the championship was a great way for Brickhouse to start her freshman year at Rush, and she also had a stellar start to her basketball career.
She wasn’t just acting excited, but if she needed to, she very well could.
Brickhouse is a theater major at the school, and she’s more than capable of acting. But her favorite part about the major is writing plays and helping others perform. During her first year, she did some directing in the classroom and her classmates did very well following her directions.
“It was really good, I got a 90 on (the assignment),” said Brickhouse, who lives near Abraham Lincoln High School. “I was having some trouble at first because we had to do a play that was one or two minutes long and I had some trouble getting it down to that, but we worked together and we figured it out. I had fun doing it.
“My mother was in theater. She would dance and sing, I just like to write and do other things. I like it, but I like playing sports better.”
Her favorite part of the assignment was writing, and while she can act, she enjoys the behind-the-scenes aspects of the major.
“I like writing them the best and performing them with my classmates,” Brickhouse said. “I love the school and I love being in theater. When I first got to the school, I wasn’t used to the environment, but now I love it. I love the people and I love the energy at the school. I like being there.”
It helps that she’s having fun in sports.
Brickhouse sees herself as more of a basketball player, and this year she hopes to take over as the starting point guard. It’s something she worked hard on during the summer and believes she’s ready for the challenge.
“I’m pretty fast and I’m pretty good at dribbling,” Brickhouse said. “I like passing, too, I just like playing. Basketball is my favorite sport, and I’m trying to get better.”
Basketball might be her favorite, but she still loves playing her fall sport, and she has no intentions of becoming a one-sport star. She loves staying busy during both seasons.
“It’s not hard to play both because you have time to get ready between seasons,” Brickhouse said. “Playing soccer is a lot of fun, too. Last year was fun because we were good. And I like playing for Rush.”
She is also ready to do whatever it takes to win.
Her favorite position to play is striker. She loves nothing better than filling the net with goals, which she said she did more than 20 times last season for the Knights. But she’s a team player before she’s a scorer, and that means she’ll do whatever it takes to keep Rush in contention.
“Sometimes ,coach (Todd) Corabi asks me to play defense and I like doing that,” Brickhouse said. “Sometimes, I’ll go back to play defense when they need it. But I like offense more, that’s what I like playing. I think it’s what I’m best at, too. I like scoring goals.”
The Knights play a challenging schedule against some of the top teams in the Public League. Last year, that equated to a 5-12-1 record. But that didn’t stop the Knights from winning a Class AAA championship.
And while Brickhouse hopes Rush has a better season, record-wise, she’s mostly concerned about getting back to the championship.
She’s ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
“I think we’ll be better this year, we have some really good players,” Brickhouse said. “I really want to do well in the Public League and do well in our classification.”