BIG EAST Tournament Second Round: No. 5 St. John's 51, No. 12 Seton Hall 45 (March 9, 2013).
Unsigned in the early signing period, she was picked up by St. John's in spring 2012 ... noted by ESPN as the "best unsigned point guard in her class and best at her position" ... ranked No. 9 as a point guard and No. 55 nationally by ESPNHoopGurlz ... "ultra-athletic" and versatile guard with a great body who can slash and finish in traffic ... she is active on the glass and is not afraid to draw contact and invade the paint ... a good size for either back court position ... she's clever with the ball and can fashion her own finishes, all the way to the rim or off pulls when the pass isn't available ... she is the first official signed recruit of the Joe Tartamella Era.
Joe Tartamella On Handford:
"Aliyyah has a great natural ability and her talent as a player is off the charts. She can fly and finish in transition as well as anyone. The biggest thing Aliyyah will have to learn is the tempo and the speed of the college game and how to slow things down. "
At Malcolm Shabazz High School:
A 2011-12 First Team All-New Jersey selection ... helped Shabazz to four-straight state championships as the leading scorer all four years ... finished her career with 1,650 points, more than 600 rebounds and an overall record of 125-7 ... helped Shabazz win four Essex County Tournament titles, three-consecutive Group 2 championships and a Group 3 title ... voted the 2012 Essex County Player of the Year, Senior of the Year and Top Individual Performance(s) of the Year by NJ.com ... selected to NJ.com's All-Essex first team ... as a senior she averaged 16.3 points, 4.3 assists, 4.2 steals and 4.1 rebounds per game ... shot 14-for-20 from the field to finish with a career-best 33 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and six steals in a 100-64 victory over Point Pleasant Boro in the 2011-12 Group 2 final in Toms River ... averaged 12.5 ppg, 6.3 apg, 6.8 rpg and 4.4 spg as a junior and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau.
Aliyyah Nicole Handford ... nicknamed Liyyah ... daughter of Delores Michelle Handford ... has one sibling, Madison Sky Walker (6) ... a sport management major ... denotes Ms. Watson as the most influential person in her life ... her favorite movie is "Love And Basketball," her favorite food is pizza and her favorite television show is "The Game."