Alexis Hart grew up in a basketball family in Missouri, but a passion for volleyball and the influence of her late grandfather ultimately led to her becoming a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota.
Growing up, Hart was a multi-sport athlete. Her athletic career began at the age of five, when she joined a summer track league and started training with her siblings and aunt. She would eventually go on to compete in track, volleyball and basketball simultaneously in high school. She continued in volleyball and track through senior year, sticking with volleyball over basketball because of her passion for the game and the strong team element of the sport.
“My mom was like, ‘You have to play basketball, or I guess you can play volleyball.’ I chose volleyball over basketball, which she wasn’t too happy about,” Hart said. “I kind of just sparked an interest, I guess. I also loved track, but I saw more opportunities in volleyball, so I went with volleyball, and I just fell in love with it.”
There were certainly opportunities for Hart in volleyball, including one at the University. Hart’s grandfather played an important part in her life, and she wanted to make the decision on where to play with his guidance. He was a father figure for Hart, and she wanted to play at a school he loved. That school happened to be Minnesota. It wasn’t long before Hart began to love the University as well.
“He really loved this school. Once I got to talk to him, he just expressed his feelings on how much he loved it here,” she said. “Then I saw the coaches and the culture and the girls. I was like, ‘Yes, I like it too.’ We kind of agreed, and then I just fell in love with the school.”