Beyond basketball: VCU stars Melvin Johnson and Mo Alie-Cox intern at the General Assembly

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Mo Alie-Cox and Melvin Johnson

When they aren’t at practice, class or study hall or leading the Virginia Commonwealth University men’s basketball team to yet another win, Melvin Johnson and Mo Alie-Cox can be found this semester interning at the General Assembly, getting a firsthand look at Virginia’s legislative process.

Johnson and Alie-Cox, both criminal justice majors in the L. Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU, are standout starters for a Rams team that has soared to a 17-5 record and sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10. The internships appealed to them because they wanted to gain experience and a better understanding of criminal justice policy.

“At the time, I didn’t know too much about it, but I thought it’d be a good experience, given that I’m a criminal justice major and I want to get to know people in the field,” Alie-Cox said. “The other day Coach [Will] Wade came up to us and was like, ‘Do you realize [interning at the General Assembly] is a big-time thing?’ I hadn’t really realized that until now, sitting here in the meetings and seeing all the work being done.”

Wade praised Johnson and Alie-Cox for being excellent student-athletes.

“We’re thrilled Mo and Melvin have the opportunity to volunteer at the General Assembly this semester,” he said. “They’ve been terrific examples for the other guys in our program in terms of maximizing the educational resources available to them. They’ve embraced the student-athlete ideal, and they’re two of the hardest-working guys in our program on and off the court. They may be terrific basketball players, but they’re each going to be incredibly successful in something other than basketball.”

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