Her basketball background helps her in her job. "Knowing the big picture, not getting too focused on details, but stepping back and making a plan" are skills that transfer to when she is evaluating a client, she said.

She's also found time to give back to basketball. After helping with Mt. Hebron's off-season leagues, McCauley followed Scott Robinson when he took the head coaching position at Howard High School. She is an assistant coach for the Lions.

—Carol Gralia

Alisha Mosley


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Alisha Mosley has a string of accolades that follow her like a long tail on a kite.

Two-time Howard County girls basketball Player of the Year, 11 school records while she was at Mt. Hebron, two-time team MVP, Player of the Week, All-Met, All-Metro, a 1,000-point scorer and the 1996 leading scorer in the state (28.4 points per game).

Her first year in college at Wake Forest, she was on the ACC women's basketball all-freshman team and rookie of the week. By the time she graduated in 2000 she was team MVP, ACC honorable mention and well-placed in the Demon Deacons' all-time career rankings for three-point shots (third), free-throw percentage (eighth), assists (10th) and scoring (16th). She was also the winner of the Robin Roberts WBCA Sports Communication Scholarship.

But none of those things compare to this — survivor.

Already diagnosed with dermatomyositis, an inflammatory muscle disease, two years ago and without warning Mosley developed double pneumonia and both of her lungs collapsed. Too sick for treatment at Howard County General, she was flown to Johns Hopkins where she spent two and a half months in an induced coma, clinging to life.

She received a tracheotomy, her kidneys collapsed and her heart stopped.

"They were about to put the paddles on me, when my mom started screaming. I think that started my heart again," Mosley said.

She was in Hopkins' Medical Intensive Care Unit.

"It's so lonely being in MICU; it's horrible because once you are there, they don't think you are going to make it. Every day someone would die."

Mosley said she went into a coma around Thanksgiving seeing her mother crying and when she woke up from the coma her mother was crying and it was February.

"I had no clue what happened to me."

She lost 20-25 percent of function in each lung and she had to learn how to walk and talk again.

"It was a humbling experience. …My recovery was remarkable. I'm pretty much back to full strength," she said.

The episode "makes me value my family, my relationships and my life friendships more. You really see who your true friends are, and they were there for my mom."

Being an athlete helped her meet the challenges of rehabilitation.

When she was in the hospital, because of the tracheotomy, she could only mouth words and she got frustrated when she couldn't make herself understood. So her mother got a dry-erase board.