Courtside Reflection

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Courtside Reflection

A Spotlight on Women’s Basketball Captain Madeline Raster

By ELIZABETH GUMMER

 

Senior Basketball Captain Madeline Raster took to the court at Lavietes Pavilion for her last home game as a Harvard athlete. For seniors, their final home game is deemed Senior Night, and the matchup featured a starting lineup highlighting Raster and her 3 other senior classmates. Playing for 31 minutes of the 40 minute game, Raster scored a double-digit 14 points, sinking two 3-pointers and recorded 11 rebounds.

Raster’s career began in her hometown of South Bend, Indiana, where she joined a team in the 5th grade. Raster’s first years on the court were coached by her mother and idol, a former player at Saint Mary’s College. Raster remembers how she loved the way her teammates looked up to her mother in the same way she did, and how she always wanted to be just like her mother.  

A starting guard all 4 years of her high school career at St. Josephs, Raster was named an Indiana All-Star, and twice named first team All-Conference. The next step was to find an NCAA team where she could continue. As second oldest in a family of seven children, finding a team that felt like family was top priority for the graduating senior when looking for a team to call home. Raster notes that one of her motivating factors for choosing Harvard was the head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who has been with the team since 1982 and was known by Raster to be an incredible leader for women. Raster shared that she felt empowered to be a part of the culture Delaney-Smith had built, as she had spent her entire career fighting for equality.

The Harvard Crimson welcomed Raster to the class of 2019 where she was played in the starting lineup 25 of the 28 games in her Freshman season. As a sophomore, Raster started for all 30 of the games played by the Crimson. A force to be reckoned with, Raster’s teammates saw in her a quality that could make for a fearless leader.

Elected co-captain alongside Kirby Porter (‘19), Raster set out for a 2 year captainship of the Women’s team. The newly elected captain said she remembered feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of guiding her team through vocal leadership, a task she was initially uncomfortable with. Elected again for her senior season alongside Sydney Skinner (‘19), Raster reflected on the growth she has seen within herself due to her captain position. The role forced her out of her comfort zone, and helped her contribute to her team in a new way. Raster expressed that she feels  “so blessed to have the opportunity to lead an incredible group of women who inspire and push [her] daily” and that “It has been a wonderful blessing to be a member of this team and [to] learn from everyone in the program”.

Raster will play in her last Ivy League Tournament March 16-17, which will take place at John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, the home of the Yale Bulldogs.

Elizabeth Gummer ‘21 ([email protected]) wishes the women luck at the tournament this weekend.