An Aggie basketball players cut for a cause

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Last Wednesday against Missouri, Texas A&M guard Tyrece “Boots” Radford debuted his new haircut but this wasn’t just any haircut, it was a cut for a cause.

Radford sported his dreads for more than three years, so the guards new look came as a surprise last week the Tiger’s.

“What are you doing cutting you hair off?” Head Coach Buzz Williams asked Radford. “He goes, ‘I am doing it to honor Alise.’”

Alise Svihla was Radford’s academic advisor during his time at Virginia Tech and a catalyst for his success in the classroom.

“I wouldn’t be where I am at right now academically in terms of getting my masters right now, without her,” expressed Radford.

During his first year as a Hokie, Radford was deemed an academic red shirt, meaning he was able to practice but not allowed to play. He immediately started working with Alise.

“He is one of the special ones,” said Alise. “It was not easy for him by any means. It was really cool to see him develop and grow as a student being an academic red shirt and then being able to graduate in three years.”

Williams said with Alise’s help, four of his five starters at Virginia Tech during his final season graduated within three years.

Alise is now at Coastal Carolina where she serves as the Associate AD for Student-Athlete Academic Services.

Just after her 40th, in October, she received devastating news.

“I have stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to my liver,” Alise said.

At first, it was unclear if treatment would be an option but now she just began her second round of chemotherapy.

“I shed tears when I first heard it. It was hard,” said Radford. “I just wanted her to know that I’m with her for life, no matter what, because she did not have to do what she did.”

In solidarity with Alise and all she’s done for him, Radford cut his hair.

“He was like ‘It’s time, I am cutting my hair for you’ and I was like oh my gosh. His step-mom texted me later and was like did he show you what he did and so it was just really touching,” exclaimed Alise.

KBTX News 3 at Six(Recurring)

The gesture was not for recognition, but because she was always more than just an academic advisor.

“This to her just shows me being a good person or to everybody else just shows me being a good person but me and her have a connection,” said Radford. “I love Alise.”

Alise has a long road of chemotherapy and surgeries ahead, but she knows she isn’t alone.

“It’s just so amazing to see how many people just care about me. I guess I just had no idea,” Alise said tearing up. “It’s really overwhelming and it just makes me cry thinking about how supportive and loving people are.”

If you wish to help Alise and her fight against cancer: