Senior guard Autumn Childress has officially finished her illustrious career in a Longwood uniform, which came full circle in a record-setting senior campaign that saw her average a points and rebounds double-double, making her only player in the Big South to accomplish the feat.
Coupled with being named as an honorable mention in the All Big South team, she became the new record holder at Longwood in the Division I era for double-doubles in a single season with 13.
Some may think the feat was a goal from the beginning for Childress, but in reality, it was not the case.
“Coming into the season it definitely wasn’t, but it kind of took off, and made a life of its own after the first few, and then it became a goal after that because I was like, ‘Hey, I can do this.’ Then it became a goal to get that every game," Childress said.
Over the course of each season in a Longwood uniform, Childress improved her scoring numbers from averaging 2.1 points per game her freshman year to finishing with an average of 11.6 points per game in her senior campaign, leading the team.
Looking back at her four years with the team, Childress deeply cherishes the relationship she has with fellow senior guard Micaela Ellis saying it was one of the best memories of being with the program.
“She is my best friend, and the chemistry we had off the court translated to the court and people could see it too," Childress said. "Having that chemistry with someone is definitely one of my best memories of being here at Longwood."
As Childress’s time with the program has run its course, she thinks her hard work ethic is the one of the things that will resonate even past her days of being on the team.
“A hard work ethic is something people will remember from year to year; like who was working hard. And I think with the accolades I received at the end of the year with breaking the records and honorable mention for the conference will show the team that you can achieve things like that through hard work,” said Childress.
Childress said her competitive spirit and reason for beginning basketball in the first place came from her father.
“My dad played in a YMCA typed league, and so I would always ask if I could go to his games with him, and seeing his competitive spirt, made me think, ‘I can do that too.' So if you asked him, he would say we had a goal in our backyard, and I would see how far I could shoot it, and I just started to do it more and more, and that’s where my love came from," Childress said.
Childress also mentioned she is inspired by her mother because through all the struggles she faced, her mother was always there by her side.
“All the success that happened at the end of this year I really contribute to my mom. She’s been there through the best and worst times supporting me and encouraging me," Childress said.
As a mainstay on the university's "Lancer Central" sports update show, Childress said she wants to enter the media field and be a news reporter after she graduates in May, just like her mother.
“The (Communication Studies) department is like, my life, and we have great professors and great resources," she said. "I have really enjoyed doing sideline reporting at the games, or contributing to The Rotunda has been awesome."
In her time after school, Childress says she doesn’t think she will play very much basketball, but she admits the game will always be a part of her life. However, she has not ruled out becoming a coach one day.
She said, “At the end of the day if someone can say, ‘Autumn Childress worked really hard here and did something for Longwood,’ then that’s something that would be good for me."