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Panther Spotlight: Madison Graham Powers Through the Unexpected

By: Simone Walker

Although this year brought about many challenges and a great deal of adversity, Madie Graham, a freshman member of the Adelphi women’s basketball team, remains optimistic about what the future holds.

Graham, like many first-year student athletes, had a hard time adjusting to her new college life. Yet, this year brought more than the average struggle of acclimating to a new team and new school. She had to do it during a global pandemic. Arriving on campus in August, Graham had high expectations for her college experience.

“This year is definitely not what I expected, but that's okay,” Graham said. “I think that these challenges I have faced this year have made me stronger as a person, mentally. Your first year of college is hard in general and then throw a global pandemic into the mix, it's not easy.”

Graham, center, pictured with her family after scoring her 1000th point at a February 2020 high school game.

Graham and her teammates worked vigorously from September until members of the Northeast-10 (NE-10) division announced winter sports would not compete during the 2020- ‘21 season due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

The news was tough on the defending NE-10 Regular Season Champions, who had their NCAA tournament run cut short the previous year.

Despite not being able to compete this season, Graham is thankful for the time she has gotten to spend with the team and coaching staff.

After news broke of the cancellation of the basketball season, the team headed home for the remainder of the intercession ahead of the second semester.

And for the first time in a little over a decade, Madie Graham would not be playing competitive basketball in the winter. This rare free time gave Graham the opportunity to connect with old friends at home, as well as spend time with her family. It also allowed her to reflect on how grateful she was during this tumultuous period.

“I am most thankful for my family and friends. I wouldn't be the person I am without all of them,” said Graham.

Graham posing at media day for the 2020-'21 season. Photo from AU Athletics

More specifically, Graham lauded the impact her mother, Melanie Graham, has had on keeping her level-headed and motivated.

“My mom has definitely helped me push through this year. She's always there to talk to whenever I need it. I will always be thankful for her,” she said.

While not spending time with family, Graham expressed interest in wake surfing, a skill she had picked up over the summer.

Though the first semester tested her in many ways, Graham, a sports management major, did not let it affect her grades. The first year finished the semester with an impressive 3.9 GPA. Working hard in the classroom is very important to Graham, as she would like to work as a sports attorney for professional athletes someday. As for the future, Graham is optimistic for what is to come.

Being a part of a sports team here at Adelphi, Graham recognizes how thankful she is to have her teammates. “They're always there to lean on if you need the support,” she said. “There is always someone to talk to if you have a question about school, basketball, or just life in general. Knowing that someone is always going to have your back is just a great feeling.”

The Panthers returned to campus in late January and resumed on-court workouts February 4.

“Hopefully next season you will finally see us on court playing games,” Graham said.

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