Sporting WCA

Kevin Eleven

Photo by Preston Willis

Not many people can say they were already committed to a D1 school by the beginning of their sophomore year. Most don’t even know what classes they want to take their junior year, let alone where they want to go to college. But for #11 Kevin Graham, junior, he had this all figured out.

Although a rarity, Westminster is lucky enough to have a stellar two-way player in third-baseman and closing pitcher Kevin Graham. Graham verbally committed to the University of Mississippi in August of his sophomore year.

Based on a summer of intense baseball, the Ole Miss coaching staff showed interest in Graham after a game in Atlanta where he hit a home run off of a well-known pitcher. In fact, the scouts were all there to watch this insane pitcher, but Graham turned heads and raised some eyebrows with his bat. With that, Graham headed down to Ole Miss and did some baseball camps, further solidifying his future involvement with the program.

“It was surprising how fast it happened, but it was incredibly exciting to know you will be continuing your career for at least another four years after high school,” said Graham.

Along with the offer from Ole Miss, Graham finally started to see his hard work paying off. Since he was four, he has always called the diamond home. Starting with tee ball and eventually developing into coach pitch, Graham has been swinging since he can remember.

Graham has been dedicating his summers to baseball since he was ten. Playing for a club team the Warriors, baseball became a year-round sport for him. His big shot came when he changed teams for his 15U year and began to play with the Pirates. On this team is where Graham caught the scouts attention, and he couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity.

“I am beyond grateful that I made the switch. I don’t think I would be committed anywhere if I had not changed teams going into my freshman year,” said Graham.

Graham, like every athlete, had to overcome some injuries throughout his time on the field. When he was eight, he had multiple knee surgeries. Then this fall, a more recent scare, Graham thought he had injured his shoulder, but it turned out to be not too serious.

Along with three home runs already recorded this season, Graham leads the team in RBIs as well.

“Every time Kevin comes up to hit the whole team is up on the fence, excited to see what he will do. We can always count on him for a big hit or just anything that will give us a little energy in the dugout,” said teammate Carter McCall, junior.

Already committed, Kevin constantly feels pressure from his teammates and coaches to be good. But Graham uses the pressure and turns it into motivation to become a better player. The mental challenge of playing baseball does not intimidate Graham, rather makes him focus even more. He knows what being a good baseball player takes, and is willing to work hard and do whatever he needs to succeed.

“Kevin finds joy in always getting better and always finds ways to improve. Even after a good game, he is still humble and looking to improve,” said teammate Josh Pottebaum, senior.

Being a clutch athlete from a young age, Graham is definitely one of the most impactful players on the Wildcats’ roster this year, and will continue to be throughout the rest of the season.