Michelle Alozie has the athleticism and the brains.
During the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, people around the world watched the Nigerian-American soccer player represent Nigeria on the Super Falcons, which reached round 16 of the championship.
Before making her World Cup debut, Alozie has played as a defender for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team Houston Dash in Texas. However, soccer isn’t the only area she specializes in.
According to FIFA, the 26-year-old has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Yale University. What’s more, while playing for the NWSL, she also studies acute leukemia and cancer as a part-time research technician at Texas Children’s Hospital.
“I’ll probably be done with training around 1 pm,” Alozie told the outlet. “I’ll head straight to the children’s hospital, get there around 1:30 pm, probably have our team meetings, and then just go about my day until about 5 pm.”
Becoming a professional soccer player was Alozie’s childhood dream, but she also found herself growing a passion for medicine. Pushing through the challenge of juggling both interests stems from her mission to be of service to others, especially children who are battling cancer. Alozie pointed out that childhood cancer isn’t researched enough, and she’s a part of changing that.
“I have a passion for helping people,” she said. “Thankfully biology was something that I was really good at in school and so medicine just seemed like the correct option there. Again, it’s just amazing to meet these young kids that I’m helping find a cure for their cancer. It means everything to me.”
What’s ahead for Alozie? She shared that she envisions medical school and becoming a doctor in the future, but for the time being, she plans to continue dominating on the soccer field.
“I have been playing soccer since I was four or something like that and, being Nigerian, soccer, or football, is really just in our blood,” Alozie explained. “But I just have this fascination with medicine and I know it’s a career path that I would love to be in when I can’t run on the field anymore.”
Dr. Alex Stevens, a pediatric oncologist at Texas Children’s, told ABC13 Houston, “Michelle has exactly what I look for in everybody I want to work with. She has fire. She has the desire to make a difference in the world – to use her talents and strengths to the best of her ability, and I love that. It’s what moves the field of pediatric oncology forward. She’ll be a fantastic doctor when she’s ready. She has so many talents, and life is short. She’s living her dream as a professional soccer player and having the potential to impact the lives of children for decades to come.”