Two years ago Nastassia Alcius decided to become a firefighter. As a basketball player at UK, she took pride in her defense. Her role was stopping opponents from catching fire. She finds similarities between her basketball career, and her new job extinguishing fires.
"Being part of a team. everybody pushing you to do better, you pushing everybody to do better, but the whole thing in firefighting is to help people. To go from athletics to actually helping people to be remembered as somebody in your community as doing something positive. That’s what I want to be remembered for," said Alcius.
She struggled to find words to describe her emotions after receiving her badge.
"I mean, I can’t. I’ve never felt this way in my life in anything I’ve done, and that’s including basketball. This is, I can honestly say, this is the biggest moment of my life," said Alcius.
She graduated with 22 other men. Women make up less than 5% of the city’s fire department.
"A lot of the jobs that I’ve chosen in my life time have been predominantly male dominated. So, I was already prepared for a situation like this, but the guys, they really helped me a lot, helped me overcome the nervousness of being the only female in the class, and they took me in as one," she said.
Alcius says she will always love basketball, but it’s time to put her hoop dreams to bed, and begin her new life.