POTOMAC, Md. (BVM) – When Bullis School volleyball star Alexis Ewing was younger, her game was on a different kind of court – a tennis court. This is a bit surprising as the now 6-foot-4 Alexis is the daughter of former NBA star and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. However, Alexis wasn’t fond of her dad’s sport.
“I strongly disliked basketball,” Alexis said.
Instead, seeking a more team-based competitive environment, Alexis followed in her mother’s footsteps to the volleyball court. Alexis’ mother, Cheryl Weaver, was an accomplished volleyball player, becoming an All-American at Long Beach State before playing for Team USA and professionally overseas. The transition to volleyball just made sense.
“At first, I didn’t like there was no team aspect of tennis and I was just looking for something that had a team or family bond and obviously I didn’t like basketball so volleyball was my next choice and I felt that was the best decision for me,” Alexis said.
The move has paid off as the junior is now ranked among the top players in the nation in the Class of 2025. On Sept. 23, the outside hitter announced her commitment to Penn State. Alexis is now the fourth member of the Nittany Lions’ 2025 class joining a Penn State program that is currently ranked No. 14 in the nation and has made the NCAA Tournament a whopping 42 consecutive times.
“I could just tell that everything really felt right like the girls and the coach,” Alexis said. “You had this genuine feeling that [Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley] really cared for me and wanted me to get better and that’s what really set the deal for me. A lot of the other schools, I could tell they cared about me but it was more of a family bond with Penn State than the other schools I was looking at.”
Her trip to Happy Valley was the first official visit for Alexis and she immediately felt at home. After spending time with the coaching staff and players, Alexis knew that she wanted to join the one-of-a-kind program.
“It was such a great visit,” Alexis said. “I got to spend so much time with the girls and I feel that was one of my favorite parts just getting to see their point of view of the school and how much they loved it since I would be in their shoes in two or three years. It was great to hear what they thought about the school and they were just super open and honest with me. I also got to eat dinner with all the coaches’ families and it was just so welcoming and so great and I just loved it there.”
Though the daughter of two world-class athletes, Alexis was never pressured by her parents to become an athlete. Instead, the pressure came from within herself to live up to the family’s success.
“I feel like there wasn’t that much pressure, I feel like it was more internalized,” Alexis said. “It was more of a feeling of wanting to make them proud and doing my best. I feel like they didn’t put that much pressure on me, they just knew as long as I go out and do my best that’s all they can do about it. They were very supportive of my volleyball decision.”
Alexis is an outstanding athlete in her own right. As a sophomore last year, Alexis recorded 114 kills in 36 sets played according to MaxPreps, helping her Bulldogs to a 15-6 record and a spot in the playoffs.
This year, they entered the season ranked No. 9 in the D.C. area, thanks in large part to Alexis’ stellar performance. The Bulldogs are currently 4-2 this season with much of that due to Alexis’ relationship to the Bullis head coach – her mother.
“It’s really great,” Alexis said. “She gives me a lot of points of view as someone who’s been in my shoes before and she says it a lot that I’m so much better than she was at my age. I feel like it’s just so helpful because she helps me with things I don’t even realize that I can be fixing. I’m really open-minded and I’ve taken in [her advice] and improved my game so much.”
Not only does Alexis have one coach as a parent, but two as her dad Patrick was head coach for the Georgetown men’s basketball team from 2017-23. While he couldn’t necessarily help Alexis with the ins and outs of volleyball on the court, he did play a major role in helping his daughter in her recruiting process.
“He was just making sure I looked at all the options of a team before I really want to commit and stuff like that,” Alexis said. “He mostly just gave me a mental point of view and a recruiting point of view.”
Having both parents in her corner helped Alexis be able to get the most out of herself and her game. With two coaches waiting for her at home, Alexis could get all the information and insight she needed on how she could be her best.
“It’s great because I get coaching outside of practice and stuff like that so it’s honestly really helpful for me as a player,” Alexis said. “I get so much insight out of my game and mental stuff. It’s honestly a blessing to have two parents who were coaches.”
With just less than two seasons left of prep volleyball, Alexis is focusing on improving her game as she prepares for her future with the Nittany Lions.
“I’ve improved so much,” Alexis said. “I’m getting to be such a well-rounded player which is great for playing in college and playing professionally and stuff like that. Honestly, my main goal is to just develop, develop, develop. That’s the best thing I can do as a player is just stay open-minded, make sure I get everything corrected and make sure I can get to the best of my abilities at every skill so I can be prepared for college and start and play right away.”
Once at Penn State, Alexis is focused on making her big dreams a reality, just like she has done time and again.
“I want to make sure I’m freshman of the year and stuff like that,” Alexis said. “I have really big goals for myself. I would say I’m an overachiever but everything that I want to achieve is very manageable for me. It’s just making sure I’m focused on developing and improving.”