By RYAN FARRAR
Rachel Martin is a 4th year player for Mary Washington’s own 24th ranked women’s basketball team. Martin is always up for a challenge and thrives in tough situations. She is always looking to take the last shot or make that important steal or anything her team needs her to do in order to win. She is a winner on and off the court.
Martin is a Biology major and will graduate the spring of 2012. She chose the University of Mary Washington because it is a challenging school academically and the women’s basketball team has a great history of winning.
Martin has played during each of her four years here at Mary Washington. She has had to play through injuries throughout her career, but was really tested after last year’s injury.
Towards the end of the women’s basketball season last year Martin tore her ACL and was out indefinitely for the rest of the season. She was even told that there is a likely possibility that her career may be over. The season wrapped up with the women’s team falling short of a CAC Championship as well as a NCAA berth.
During this past offseason, Martin was determined to rejoin her team by any means necessary. She went through a grueling rehab program as well as strength exercises to be able to run and cut to play basketball with her team.
When asked how she stayed so motivated all the time, Martin responded, “I am motivated by my teammates that work hard every day. We have such a great support system here: from the fans to our coach to our managers.”
She went on to say, “it’s kind of easy to be motivated around people who care a lot about you and your success. We all have goals at the beginning of the year and the only way to get to them is by working hard every day.”
This year, against all odds, Rachel has not only rejoined the team but is having a promising senior season with the Eagles. The women’s basketball team is currently undefeated and ranked 24th in the nation.
Brieneke Matthes, a second year women’s basketball player, said about Martin, “Rachel is one of the best teammates you can ask for; she leads by voice and by example. She works her butt off day in and day out, and is always there for each and every one of us. She also tends to provide us with some pretty entertaining moments.”
Martin’s perseverance is a truly inspiring story to any athlete battling injuries. After graduation Martin hopes to have the opportunity to travel overseas to possibly coach basketball. If that doesn’t work out then she plans to find a coaching job close to home in Northern Virginia. Martin will be sincerely missed at the UMW.