JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — In just her first season at Xavier of Louisiana, Lailaa Bashir’s impact on the game of tennis was profound.
The Jackson Academy standout took home All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year honors and was named an NAIA ITA All-American.
“I remember touring, watching the team and you know you kind of naturally try to gauge yourself of how you’re going to do,” Bashir said. “I was like ‘OK, they’re pretty good, they’re pretty good. I think I can hit with them.’ But I was definitely not expecting to have the results that I did.”
Bashir finished the season 46-4 and was unbeaten during the spring semester, helping lead Xavier to a 3rd ranked finished in the NAIA. Bashir and her doubles partner, Angela Charles-Alfred, produced the school’s first-ever end-of-season No. 1 ranking.
“It’s really nice to see all of my years of hard work finally pay off with something that I feel is substantial. I’ve been playing for, it’s about to be 15 years. So, it’s always nice to see my efforts actually pay off. And for my effect to be so large coming in my first year, it’s always nice to see.”
She said a lot of confidence came after winning the ITA Cup Small College National Title in October.
“It’s been a long time since I played against high level people like that, so it was kind of like me being thrown back into the water.”