By Eric Jensen
Photos by Kevin McInnis
What makes a great leader? Is it hard work? Is it being able to control and manipulate people? Is it being the best at everything you do?
According to Madison Grange it’s about believing in yourself, holding others accountable and having a group of people who will be in your corner no matter what. Grange is a high school junior with a plan and that plan is dominating the game she loves so much, basketball.
Madison Grange grew up in Utah but her love for the game of basketball developed in the Big Apple. She moved to New York when she was eight years old as her father took up his new job at a law firm in Manhattan.
“We lived about four miles outside the city (Manhattan) and it was a great experience.” Grange said. “Basketball is so much different back east, it’s all about toughness, if you’re not tough you’re not going to make it.”
Grange attributes the grit that makes her game so unique from growing up and discovering the sport of basketball in New York. She developed several deep friendships in New York and still stays in touch with her east-coast friends to this day.
Watching Grange play a basketball game is not easy on the eyes. Her movement is somewhat lanky, and her shooting style is abrupt. That doesn’t matter though, because Grange consistently puts up points, 28 in a recent game against Hillcrest on Jan. 27.
“Practice is key and you have to practice right,” Grange said. “If you put up 100 shots but your technique is wrong you’re hurting your team.”
Hard work is built into the basketball hard drive with which Grange was born, but backed up by the people around her. She says the most important people in her life are her family. They are key to her basketball success and her affection shined through her smile as she talks about them.
“I know they (her family) will always have my back no matter what and that inspires me to work that much harder,” she said.
Grange’s best attribute is her sincerity. When asked about her dream college program for which to play would be, the answer came quickly – BYU. That is not necessarily the school you expect a talented women’s basketball player to give, particularly one with east-coast ties.
There was no mention of the University of Connecticut, or even Washington or Texas. No, BYU was the answer.
Why? Because her family could come up to watch her play. Grange later said “when it comes to choosing between a successful program and a program that cares, that’s family, I’m going to choose family every time.”
So what makes a good leader?
The answer seems clear – someone who cares deeply about what she’s doing. Grange lives, eats, drinks and sleeps basketball. Someone who holds others accountable and to the standard they hold themselves.
“Holding people accountable is what makes a good leader because if you hold them to the standard you hold yourself they respect you more,” Grange said.
A leader is someone who cares deeply about those around them and Grange certainly does that. So what makes Grange such a fantastic player on the court and a terrific person off the court? There’s so much to choose from, it’s really up to you.
Skyline High senior Eric Jensen wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year. Jensen is a writer for the Skyline Horizon newspaper and the proud owner/writer and editor-in-chief of www.dramaofitallasportsblog.com. He is interested in a career in journalism, specifically sports journalism. Jensen’s inspirations are Al Michaels of NBC, and Chris Wesseling, Marc Sessler, Gregg Rosenthal and Dan Hanzus of the NFL.