Graves and Goddard reach athletic milestone
By Rob Elder
It is not every day that an athlete reaches 1,000 points for their collegiate career, let alone two athletes in a single season. Christian Graves and Rachel Goddard, both senior guards on the men’s and women’s basketball teams respectively, scored their 1,000 point as Pioneers within weeks of one another.
Graves attained 1,000 points on Jan. 18 in a win over Central State University. Graves is the 49 player in Malone’s men’s basketball history to reach the achievement. He reached the historic milestone on a lay-up with a little over 5 minutes remaining in the second half.
“I’ve learned a lot over the years. As a freshman I knew I’d play early, which is why I chose Malone in the first place, but as a sophomore the game got easier due to the players who were around me,” said Graves. “Guys like Isaiah Elliot and Cory Veldhuizen, who in those years also reached 1,000 points for their colligate career, helped me develop into the player I am today. Junior year, however, was tough for me, because I had to redshirt due to a back injury, but that is where I learned the most and realized God was in control.”
For Graves, hitting this milestone has helped this team look towards a promising future.
“[Graves] has also made the teammates around him better whether he knows it or not. He has one of the prettiest jumpers, and he is an experienced presence on the floor,” said Mitch Spotleson, junior forward.
“Playing with [Graves] was easy due to his leadership. 1,000 points is a huge milestone in college, and I am thankful I’ve had the chance to play with him,” said Nate Sheppard, redshirt sophomore guard.
Graves’ success is mirrored on the women’s team, as Goddard scored her 1,000 point Feb. 4 in a win over Trevecca Nazarene. Goddard is the 22 player in Malone’s women’s basketball history to reach this milestone.
“I never imagined I would accomplish something like this, but that’s not the point. The fact that I found a place where the coaches have always had confidence [and] believed in me and let me use my talents means the most! My parents’ unwavering support through this rollercoaster college career means everything too. I am truly blessed and love the game so much,” said Goddard.
“Playing with [Goddard] has been great. We transferred in the same year and we both are super competitive. We go as she goes, because she is the dictator of the court. I think we have made each other better over the years, and our team is very proud of her for reaching 1,000 points, especially since she has only been at Malone for three years,” said Mackenzie Storlie, senior guard.
“It is a bittersweet moment for us, because 1,000 points is a great accomplishment, but knowing it is her last year with us is sad. Her chemistry with our team distinguishes her from being a good player to a great player, and it has brought our team closer together,” said Rachel Williams, sophomore guard.