In the late 1990s, Donnell Maben and Pierre Alston were two standouts on some very good Covington High School basketball teams.

Ja’Nlle Alston, the niece of both men, never saw then play because she wasn’t even born when they were playing, but talent clearly runs in the family.

After making great strides last year during her senior season, Alston caught the attention of the coaching staff at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

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Earlier this afternoon in the CHS library she signed a basketball scholarship with the Memphis school. Her senior teammate and cousin, Trinity Taylor, signed with Southwest last month.

“I feel like it will be a good experience for me,” said Alston. “I’ll be able to work on what I need to work on to get to where I need to be.”

According to Covington head coach Katrisha Glass, Alston is no stranger to hard work.

“The one thing that set her apart from some of our competitors was that she worked hard to develop her talent,” Glass said. “She can guard 1 through 5. Up until this year her role was to play defense, but this year she started shooting the ball. She can shoot the 3. She’s one of the strongest players I’ve ever had in the weight room. She works her butt off and doesn’t complain.”

All three Covington Class of 2020 seniors signed athletic scholarships. Brinley Cousar, a shooting guard, signed a softball scholarship with Dyersburg State. Glass said it’s the first time all of the seniors on one of her teams signed.

Alston smiled when asked if she was going to live with her cousin at Southwest.

“We’ll figure that out later,” Alston said. “It is nice to know she’ll be there with me.”