Alston Gill (Center) and his family at Senior Night at the Buford Arena for basketball.  Photo credit:  Alicia Couch Payne

Meet Alston Gill, a senior at Buford High School, who has been a member of the Buford family since his sixth-grade year. Prior to Buford, Gill attended nearby Patrick Elementary School. The youngest child of Alton and Margie Gill, Alston is a hard-working student-athlete who is known as a “bright young man with a great aura”, according to Wes Parker, one of his basketball coaches.

As a dual-enrollment student at Georgia Gwinnett College, Gill’s senior year is one that is challenging, yet fulfilling. Despite his rigorous schedule, he has been able to maintain a 3.7 GPA. Concerning his future, Gill says he plans on attending Oglethorpe University to major in engineering.

Alston played point guard on the 2019 GHSA AAAAA State Championship Men’s Basketball team. Photo credit: Alicia Couch Payne

Alongside academics, Gill is heavily involved in extracurriculars, including the BHS Student Council. “I met Alston last year when he was on Junior Council,” says Bonnie Davis, a BHS math teacher, “and it was immediately evident that he was extraordinary.”

Gill is also a scholar-athlete who, as a point guard, recently assisted the men’s varsity basketball team in winning the GHSA AAAAA State Championship title. He is also a member of the BHS lacrosse team, where he is a midfielder. “The best part of working with Alston,” said Coach Parker, “is seeing the successes from all his hard work and dedication to make himself a better person.”

When asked what he considers the year’s best experience, Gill recalls when the basketball team won the state title in Macon. The team’s hard work and dedication paid off, made even sweeter as they overcame the slump from last year’s season. Gill claims “the entire two-hour ride home on the bus from that game was electric.”

Gill cites his math teacher, Ms. Wilson, as one of his favorites. She was able to do the “impossible”… make Gill like math. Though math does not come naturally to him, Wilson saw his potential and pushed him not to settle for anything less than an “A”. Gill says Wilson “genuinely cares” about him, and made sure he understood the lessons.

Outside of BHS, Gill takes on several other responsibilities. In conjunction with his church, he volunteers for Tabitha’s House, a non-profit organization that helps victims of sex trafficking. He also volunteers with the Crimson Foundation, another non-profit with schools in rural Africa. Each year, Gill gathers clothing, shoes, toilet paper, and other essentials to donate to the Crimson Academy in Rwanda. While in Africa, Gill mentors students and assists them with school work, as well as teaches them about United States customs.

Coach Parker describes Gill as the definition of a ‘true Wolf’. “Alston is a genuinely thoughtful, kind person, which is perhaps one of the most important traits when it comes time to send our students into the real world. In today’s increasingly diverse world, being able to keep an open-mind is incredibly important. He has a gift to make everyone feel a part of something, as well a help others be successful in their endeavors, too.”

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