Jade Graham is a stand-out basketball and softball player for the Rock Creek Lady Mustangs. Graham graduated this month and will continue her softball career at Carl Albert State College in Poteau.
Her versatility on the field and a strong desire to succeed are major reasons why she will be playing college ball. She also drew interest from Southeastern, Connors State and tried out at Murray State College. Bacone College has also offered a scholarship, which Graham may pursue after two years at CASC.
“I visited the campus and it was beautiful,” she said of Carl Albert. “I got to meet all the girls and the coach.”
She plans to study “somewhere in the health field,” possibly in radiology. Graham will be the first member of her family to attend college, even though big sister Jessie Graham earned a scholarship but pursued other opportunities. Parents Jerry and Rachell Graham of Wade have been very supportive of their daughters’ athletic efforts.
“I loved watching my sister when I was younger, and it made me want to play,” Jade Graham said. Her sister was on the 2006 state champion Rock Creek softball team. Jade’s teams made it to the regional round every year, getting as close as the state tournament in slow-pitch earlier this month.
(Coach) Tony Young has helped me so much this year, getting me to go try out,” Graham said. “The game makes me happy, and I love accomplishing something, knowing I did something great.”
She started out as a baseball player in pee wee leagues, then took up softball in the sixth grade. She was part of a traveling select team which made it to the national tournament two years ago. She signed to play for the Lady Vikings a couple of weeks ago, along with teammate and best friend Kaitlyn Russell.
Graham was also a three-year all-state point guard on the Rock Creek basketball team. She sat out most of a year with a torn ACL and plans to focus on collegiate softball in 2012-13.
“I want to make a better life for myself. I just want to go to the next step in life,” she said. To the girls coming up and watching her for inspiration, she says: “Never give up on anything. The only person to stop them will be themselves. You can do anything you want in life.”