BY ROWAN SCHABERG | TABLA Camper-Intern
Mady Burdett is a senior at Whitman College and joined us as a Junior Counselor (JC) at Team Awesome Basketball Leadership Academy (TABLA) for our first year. During her senior year at Whitman, Mady joined Whitman’s 1,000-point club, led the Northwest League in three-point shooting percentage, and was named first team all-conference. Before the pandemic, her team made it to the NCAA DIII Sweet 16. Mady is majoring in sociology and after graduation, she plans on heading overseas to England to play basketball and get her master’s degree in education!
Did you always know that you wanted to play basketball in college? What was the recruiting process like for you and why did you choose Whitman?
I always knew that I wanted to play at the next level and when I started getting interests, I knew it was a possibility. The recruiting process was super exciting because it made me realize all the hours spent in the gym was worth it and it all just felt rewarding. I chose Whitman because I knew it was the best fit for me basketball and school wise. The academics are incredible and the coaching staff there gave me so much confidence both on and off the court that I knew it was the right decision. Also, my teammate and friend of 13 years (Lily Gustafson) was super interested in going there, too, so choosing there also meant I got to potentially play with her, which ended up happening.
What kind of leader would you describe yourself as?
I would describe myself as a leader by action. I feel like I’m sort of quiet, but my actions to get better motivate others to do the same.
How has that changed throughout your basketball career?
I feel like as time went on, I actually ended up being more of a vocal leader just because I gained more confidence over the years, but I also remained a leader by action. As time went on, my competitiveness always stayed, so getting extra shots up or going 110% in drills was always my motive to help me reach my goals and I feel like this helped others want to get better, too.
What was your biggest adjustment, basketball or non-basketball related, from high school to college?
I think my biggest adjustment would be balancing all the school work with the travel days because in high school you never really missed school, but in college you miss class for basketball, so adjusting to getting things done earlier and not procrastinating was definitely an adjustment I had to face.
What are some ways that you have given back to your community?
I’ve given back to the community by volunteering for a program called The Mentor Program. Once or twice a week I would go and visit my mentee who lacked a consistent adult figure in their life so I acted as their friend and mentor. My mentee was in the third grade. The days would consist of me eating lunch with them and playing at recess with them, and sometimes staying late and helping them in the classroom. I volunteered in this program for two of the four years at Whitman.
What is one of your favorite TABLA memories?
My favorite TABLA memory was playing at the key arena and doing the super fun scavenger hunt all around the stadium.
What is something fun you’ve been doing in quarantine?
During quarantine, I’ve been going on lots of hikes in Walla Walla, and have also been playing wii sports to maintain that competitive drive ;). I’ve also found a nice outdoor court so I’ve been getting shots up and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible to keep me mentally and physically stable.