SPOTLIGHT: Injuries, surgeries can’t stop this basketball player
Meet aspiring forensic pathologist Madison Vance of Taylor H.S.
- Favorite Subject: English - she’s always had a passion for reading and writing.
- Role Model: Her cousin Katie Stevenson, as family and as her doctor who helps with her hearing loss. Her previous captain & teammate, Josalynn Norris who taught her skills on the court and how to be a good captain.
- Favorite Place in Her City: Her neighborhood - she likes to skate through it when she’s stressed.
- Fun Fact: She’s very superstitious. Before every game since she started, her mom ties her shoes for luck.
Madison Vance started playing basketball in third grade, and while at first she was also doing cheer, she had decided by fifth grade that she intended to focus on basketball. She says it was one of the best choices of her life.
She now goes to Taylor High School and wants the Spotlight shone on her basketball team there. “She, the team and the district need more positive recognition to help change the perspective on Taylor,” said her mom, Shannon Vance.
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In her freshman year during a match, she was shoved and it resulted in a broken collarbone. After four weeks of recovery, she was told she needed immediate surgery. Madison ended up missing the rest of her freshman season and her whole AAU season. After a year, she is going to be getting her second, and hopefully her last, surgery on March 3rd. Despite the setbacks, she’s remained determined and continued to improve.
The Fight of a First String
Madison and her mom wanted people to know that being a starter in athletics, like for her basketball team, is not something taken for granted by players like her.
“We see the sacrifices these players make to be starters. While some may cry ‘coach’s favorites,’ others know exactly how much discipline, heart and hard work it takes to be a leader,” said Shannon.
They work seasonal jobs to pay for their own personal trainers on top of their already vigorous team training. Madison’s mom said that instead of getting their nails done for homecoming and prom they go bruised up from their hard work maintaining their place on the team.
"Have fun, but take practice seriously. It takes a while, but you learn over time that every little thing you do at practice helps during the games.”Madison Vance
There’s the balancing of school and the sport, and skipping some time with friends to never miss a practice. Ice packs and heating pads on a sore body and the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to be the best they can be.
These athletes even volunteer their time to their help underclassmen and little league divisions. They teach drills, coach, take stats during other games, and work the concession stand.
Madison places a lot of importance on building bonds with her teammates. She likes team bonding activities and getting to know each other. She claims that "growing these bonds helps with the chemistry of the court. A team that knows each other, plays better together.”
After becoming this close to her team, it means the world to her. “No matter what I’m dealing with, I can walk in and tell them. My coaches are some of the best coaches I could ask for. Not only do they support me on the court but they also support me off the court.”
In school, Madison is a part of NHS, NSHSS, and DECA. Outside of school, she works at a local ice cream shop during the off season.
She has plans to play college basketball until she gets into medical school where she dreams of becoming a forensic pathologist.
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