High school Legends team remains undefeated

Alicia Browder leads Neighborhood House Charter High School girls basketball team


As we journey deeper into this basketball season, it’s time to acknowledge one of the few remaining unbeaten teams in the women’s high school ranks, and one of its major stars. The Neighborhood House Charter High School team from Dorchester is the undefeated squad, and its star is Alicia Browder, one of the top female players in Massachusetts high school basketball. Browder is sporting a 19.2 scoring average, with over six rebounds and two-plus blocked shots a game for the 15-0 Lady Legends. The 5-foot-9 senior center forward has drawn the attention of college coaches. And she’s not the only star on this Legends team. Karin Richardson, a 5-foot-3 sophomore point guard, features a 17.8-point scoring average and seven assists a game. She has one the best “handles” seen in a freshman or sophomore in some time.A floor leader blessed with exceptional scoring ability, Richardson has been a starter since eighth grade.

But she said, ‘I’m not ready for that responsibility, Coach.’ A year later, she was ready ,and has been a captain ever since.” Browder and teammate Cox challenge each other in the classroom and on the court. “They are best friends whose healthy competitive natures create an amazing locker room presence,” says Scott Urban, who built the Legends basketball program and hired coach Fernandes to run it. “It is a successful program that we are very proud of, especially when one considers that we spent 25 years as a charter middle school before moving up to the high school level just seven years ago,” he said. Coach Fernandes remembers the painful early years of her team getting spanked by bigger and more experienced teams.

This team is built on effort, drive and heart. Everyone affiliated with this school knows of the long road it took to get us where we are today. We are determined to keep moving forward.”

— Coach Charlene Fernandes.

“I was a new coach when I met Alicia. She believed in me, and I believed in her. We have been through so much together.” In seven years, the school went from a 0-18 record to 15-0 and being ranked 18th among Massachusetts charter schools. The team holds a number one seed headed into the upcoming state playoffs. “When I look back at the hard road we traveled to get where we are today, it makes me tear up,” says the fiery young coach of her all-African American squad. “If you come to our game, you will see our players doing homework while sitting in the stands and cheering on our young men’s team,” she says. “That’s the kind of team spirit we have at the Neighborhood House Charter School.” The future looks bright, with just two seniors (co-captains Browder and Cox) on this year’s Lady Legends team. “This team is built on effort, drive and heart,” says Fernandes. “Everyone affiliated with this school knows of the long road it took to get us where we are today. We are determined to keep moving forward.”



(above top) Alicia Browder; (above) Danielle Cox; (bottom) Coach Charlene Fernandes huddles with her Lady Legends team.