Growing up, Allyson knew she was going to be an athlete. When she reached Notre Dame, she did what many athletes would do and competed in multiple sports during her time as a Bulldog. But one sport stood out for Allyson.
Allyson Bradshaw is one of three inductees into the 2021 Notre Dame Athletics Hall of Fame. Her play on the hardwood extended beyond Notre Dame, giving her a college education when she continued her career at Southeast Missouri State.
Allyson is the fourth all-time leading scorer in Girls’ Basketball at Notre Dame, finishing with 1,308 points in her career and earning All-State honors her junior and senior seasons. Allyson also played soccer and volleyball for the Bulldogs. Her multi-sport excellence contributed to her selection as Lady Bulldog of the Year in 2011.
The Former Bulldog and Redhawk said it is an honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Since college, whenever you start seeing people that you played with get inducted into the Hall of Fame, it starts to get into your mind: Is this something I was good enough for? Is this something I worked hard enough for?’” she said. “Then as the years start passing and especially this year getting closer, it’s, ‘Oh my gosh, this would be the greatest honor.’ Whenever I got the call, I did it. I worked hard hard, I got it done, and this is really something special, something to be proud of.”
Even though basketball was always “her sport” and took her to the next level, when Allyson was younger, another game had her focus.
“Basketball was always the one where I felt like it was my sport,” she said. “It’s weird because whenever I was younger, it was all soccer. I knew I was OK at basketball but it wasn’t until later on where I thought I could really be good at this sport if I put some work in.”
Allyson said competing in college was a goal from early in her high school career. When she saw she was excelling past players her own age, she knew the goal was obtainable.
It was then she said she wanted to see how far the sport she loved could take her.
Little did she know it would take her across town where she earned the opportunity to play for the Redhawks.
“When they offered me (a scholarship during) my junior year, it was never a hard decision for me,” she said. “I grew up going to SEMO basketball games, went to a ton of their camps, I think I even had a SEMO cheerleading outfit when I was a little girl. When they offered me the basketball scholarship, it was a no-brainer because if I was going to play in college, I wanted to play somewhere close to home where I could play in front of my family and friends. The support that came from that, the support in the community — it’s something I look back on and I’m so grateful for. I’m so glad I chose to play there.”
The city that raised Allyson is now the city she calls home as she is currently the office administrator for Mayson Capital Partners.
Allyson said everything she does in her life, she relates back to sports and those many lessons she learned at Notre Dame.
“When I think about Notre Dame, I think about the relationships and the family atmosphere,” she said. “and how I search for that in everything I do now. Whether it’s work or even in school, you gravitate toward those people that give you that same feeling.”
One of those people is former Lady Bulldog coach, Renee’ Peters.
Allyson said she had a special relationship with her coach that culminated in her final game as a Bulldog when they fell to Dexter her senior season. Despite the loss, it’s Allyson’s favorite memory from her time at Notre Dame.
“I will never forget the way I felt walking off that court that night,” she said. “I always felt like I was a hard worker. I was too competitive not to be, but in that game, I always say it was such a different type of hard work where I knew, without a doubt, I gave absolutely everything in me to my teammates, the coaches, and even myself.
“I remember I walked off the court, my legs were cramping, I could hardly walk. I remember laying my head on her (Peters’) shoulder and I took a deep breath. I was like ‘I’m so proud of myself.’ She has it hanging in her office, the picture of my head on her shoulder … I think about that all the time because that’s what it feels like. It might not always turn out (to be a win) in the end, but if you work hard, you’re going to feel so much better.”