Athlete Spotlight: Monument Mountain's Graham Herrick
A day after suffering an 81-74 loss to Easthampton in the Western Massachusetts Division III championship game, Monument Mountain junior Graham Herrick stopped into The Eagle on Sunday to chat about his season. Herrick helped lead the Spartans to a 19-4 record on the year and averaged just under 17 points per game. Against Easthampton, Herrick had a double-double with 20 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Herrick talked about the experience of playing in a Western Mass. final, his love for both basketball and baseball, and what's on the lunch menu at school for this week's Athlete Spotlight feature.
Berkshire Eagle: First, what was it like yesterday playing in that Western Mass. final at the Cage?
Graham Herrick: It was super exciting. I've never experienced something like that. Being a part of this team is awesome. From top to bottom, I love these guys.
BE: It's been a while since Monument has played in a Western Mass. final. What does it mean to you to say that you were part of a team that was able to get back to that moment?
GH: It means a lot. To the fans, to the team, to everyone who supported us throughout the season. It just feels great all around.
BE: What do you think your favorite memory was from this season?
GH: Definitely that game yesterday. I've never experienced anything like that. It was just an electric feeling that you can't explain.
BE: When did you start playing basketball?
GH: I've played my whole life, since I was a little kid. I started down at Mount Everett, and over the years I came to Monument.
BE: What's your first distinct memory from playing basketball?
GH: I remember playing in the CYC in their little gym. Hit the game-winning shot, it was a 3/4-court shot. That was pretty exciting.
BE: Part of the whole basketball thing is that it goes all year. Once you're done with high schools, you go into travel or summer league or anything like that; do you have any plans for the summer?
GH: I used to have an AAU team out of Berkshire County. We had some players from all around the county. That kind of broke apart. Now I'm playing AAU baseball.
BE: Is baseball or basketball your favorite sport?
GH: That's a tough one. When I'm playing basketball, it's usually basketball. When I'm in baseball, it's baseball. So, they are pretty even.
BE: Do you see any similarities between the sports?
GH: They are very different, but the compete level is very similar. Both teams are competing the whole game.
BE: Off of sports for a quick second, what's your favorite class you are taking right now at school? Who teaches it?
GH: My pre-calc class. I've got a great group of guys in that class. Maria Knox teaches that, and she's a great teacher. I've learned a lot in it.
BE: What's the best thing you get on the lunch menu at Monument Mountain during the year? What's your favorite meal?
GH: I'd have to go with chicken patty. I usually get a double order of chicken patty when that's in.
BE: NCAA Tournament brackets come out tonight, you entering any bracket pools?
GH: Yeah, I'll enter some bracket pools. I don't have a set team.
BE: Any picks or insights on who might have a chance to win it?
GH: That's a tough one. But Villanova is looking pretty strong. That's my prediction.
BE: Across any sport, who is your favorite current professional athlete?
GH: As of now, I'd say it's Aaron Judge on the Yankees. I love his power, he's huge, he's a monster. And he knows how to play the game the right way.
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