LEBANON, Tenn.--Lebanon local and former women’s basketball player Julia Fox has transitioned from the hardwood to the medical field in Nashville after graduating from Cumberland in 2018. She is this week's Healthcare Hero and shares her coronavirus story.
The former Devilette was a three-time All-District performer and an Honorable Mention selection as a freshman at Lebanon High School. Fox earned All-Region honors as a senior in 2013 and finished her high school career with 1,249 points and 211 made 3-pointers.
Out of high school, Fox went to Murray State University in the Ohio Valley Conference. She scored 259 points in 43 career games for the Racers before deciding to transfer home and play out her last two years for Cumberland.
“I transferred to Cumberland after my sophomore year and the reason being was because I needed the opportunity to play basketball and go to nursing school,” Fox said. “Coach Lew (Jeremey Lewis) was going to give that to me. I knew it was going to be time-consuming on both sides and Coach Lew really worked with me to make it work.”
In 2015-16, she played in all 30 Cumberland contests. She netted 6.1 points per game. This Cumberland team reached the NAIA National Tournament and took down the number four seed and in-state rival Bethel University before falling in the Sweet 16 to No. 13 Lewis-Clark State University out of Idaho.
Her senior year she played in all 26 games averaging 10.3 points while shooting 35.7% from three. She earned Mid-South Conference Second-Team honors.
“Playing basketball in my hometown was more than I could have ever asked for as a college athlete. The ability to look up in the stands and see a whole section of my family was heartwarming.” Fox added about playing at Cumberland. “After being at Murray State for those two years I did not always have the luxury of seeing my parents or anyone for that matter at every game like I did at Cumberland. Playing for Cumberland were some of the best times I had as an athlete.”
Former women’s basketball head coach and current men’s head coach Jeremy Lewis had this to say, "Julia Fox is one of my all-time favorite people that I have had the opportunity to coach. She was an incredible competitor on the basketball court, but she was just as competitive in the classroom. I am so proud to see her accomplishing her dreams."
Fox finished her nursing degree at Cumberland in August 2018 before accepting a job at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville on the Joint Spine and Neurology floor, but she has experienced a lot of change throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to do nursing and to help people. So during this time, I am thankful to be in this profession when I am needed the most," Fox added about the difficulties that COVID-19 has presented. "The patients in the hospital right now are not allowed to have any visitors, so being able to be a light and care for them when their families can’t is important to me.”
Fox has had to adapt in this time and work with patients out of her specialty as the hospital has closed her normal unit, but as a former athlete the ability to make an adjustment on the go is in her nature.
“As a nurse, taking care of these patients with COVID-19 or patients who possibly do, work has changed drastically. The census through most of the hospital has been low due to elective surgeries and doctors’ appointments being canceled and with the Safe at Home order. Because of this, my home unit closed and moved our patients to a floor that also had a low census. I’ve been working on units that I do not normally work on and providing care to a patient population that is out of my specialty at times.”
Not only has the pandemic affected her work life, but as a nurse, Fox and so many others have to take extra precautions to ensure that they are keeping themselves and others around them outside of work safe. She said that she worries about the chance of being a carrier of coronavirus, but takes good care of herself to limit the chances.
“While everyone has this stay at home order, I have to make sure I am also being safe when I get home. Doing things like disinfecting everything that I took to work this me, removing my shoes and scrubs before coming into the house, and washing them right away.” Fox continued.
Julia like so many others has shown great compassion and strength to overcome the obstacles the pandemic has caused. Fox and many other healthcare workers are continually working hard to provide the population with the best healthcare experience possible. Like on the court, she is resilient and willing to learn which will allow her to overcome whatever this virus will throw at her. Coach Lewis said it best, "I am not surprised one bit that she is willing to put herself on the 'frontlines' to help battle this pandemic."
Cumberland University Athletics would like to thank Julia Fox and all healthcare workers for their dedication to help people. For more Healthcare Hero Spotlights return on Fridays for a former Cumberland student-athletes story.