A four-year member of the Nyack College Women’s Basketball Team. Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference All-Conference (CACC) all four years. The only female Warrior to score more than 2,000 points and over 900 rebounds. Inducted into the Nyack College Hall of Fame in 2004.
That’s the history that belongs to Nyack psychology major Rashida Aikens.
That was then and now she finds herself on the court again. Now she’s an eighth grade basketball coach at Spring Forest Middle School in Houston, TX, where she is a health fitness teacher who also coaches track & field and volleyball. For the Amateur Athletic Union, she coaches the FPR Premier Hoops, a basketball team for girls in sixth grade through high school. Since 2006, she’s played abroad for the Jamaican National Basketball Team.
Her passion for sports and basketball in particular was literally home grown. She explains, “I was influenced to play basketball by my three brothers (one, Rashidi who is the current Nyack Women’s Basketball Head Coach) and male cousins. I would play football and basketball and they were roughing me up. If I ever complained to my mom she would tell me to either not play or to be tough and show them what I was about. I think that is why I play the way I play any type of sports—especially basketball.”
Her school games and the AAU games do have spectators who social distance and wear masks. Of her players she says, “During these crazy times, they get down on themselves, so I am always telling them to stay positive and to push through whatever they are going through. I always let them know I’m there for them no matter what.”
The history Rashida made as a forward on Nyack’s Bowman Gymnasium court and on those of competitor schools is not glory gathering dust on a shelf. In fact, those in the sports reporting game still remember her well. Is there any question that she was named to the DII East Hoops Super 75?
Rashida Aikens has gained the admiration and respect of the young athletes she coaches and the general student population at Spring Forest Middle School. They made Coach Aikens “2021 Teacher of the Year.”