Lebanon High School graduate and former Cumberland University women’s basketball player Julia Fox recently transitioned from the hardwood to the medical field in Nashville.
A 2018 graduate of Cumberland and a 2013 graduate of Lebanon, Fox was a three-time All-District 9AAA performer for the Devilettes, finishing her prep career with 1,249 points while converting 211 three-pointers.
Out of high school, Fox signed with 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 finish out her playing career at Cumberland.
“I transferred to Cumberland after my sophomore year because I needed the opportunity to play basketball and go to nursing school,” Fox said.
"Cumberland has a great nursing program. Coach [Jeremy] Lewis was going to give me that opportunity. I knew it was going to be time-consuming on both sides, but coach really worked with me to make it happen."
In 2015-16, she played in all 30 Cumberland contests, netting 6.1 points per game, helping the team reach the NAIA National Tournament.
Cumberland took down the No. 4 seed and in-state rival Bethel University before falling in the round of 16 to No. 13 Lewis-Clark State in Idaho.
As a senior, Fox played in all 26 games, averaging 10.3 points while shooting 35.7% from beyond the arc and earned Mid-South Conference second team honors along the way.
“Playing basketball in my hometown was more than I could have ever asked for as a college athlete," Fox said.
"Being able to look up in the stands and see a whole section of my family was heartwarming.
“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.”
Lewis, Cumberland former women’s basketball coach and current men’s coach, said, "Julia Fox is one of my all-time favorite people who 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 she accepted a job at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville on the joint spine and neurology floor.
She has experienced a world of changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to do nursing and to help people," Fox said.
"So during this time, I am thankful to be in this profession when I am needed the most."
Fox spoke of the difficulties the COVID-19 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,” she said.
Fox has managed to adapt 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 also 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 she worries about the chance of becoming 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," she said.
"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 said.
Fox has shown great compassion and strength to overcome the obstacles the pandemic caused.
Fox and many other health care workers are continually working hard to provide the population with the best health care 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.
Lewis perhaps said it best. "I am not surprised one bit that she is willing to put herself on the frontlines to help battle this pandemic."