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Oklahoma high school senior spotlight: Battle-tested Amanda Graddy was 'like a warrior' at Lexington

Lexington senior Amanda Graddy averaged 16.3 points per game this season and will play at Southwestern Kansas. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
Lexington senior Amanda Graddy averaged 16.3 points per game this season and will play at Southwestern Kansas. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Amanda Graddy didn’t have an ideal offseason.

Last summer, she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. The illness was so overwhelming that the 5-foot-5 guard dropped from 110 pounds to a frail 92.

Graddy, a senior at Lexington High School, was supposed to spend last summer going on college visits, playing AAU basketball and preparing for her final high school season. Instead, she was forced to change to a gluten-free diet and give herself a Humira shot every two weeks to get back to full strength.

“It was tough,” Graddy said. “It put me back a little bit. But I just decided it’s a part of my life now and I’m just going to have to grow up and deal with it.”

It certainly didn't stop her from succeeding on the court.

Graddy joined the 1,000-point club as a senior, earned a spot on the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-Star team and the Canadian Valley Conference MVP award, all while leading Lexington in scoring at 16.3 points per game. She will play for Southwestern College next season in Winfield, Kansas.

“She’s literally like a warrior,” Lexington girls basketball coach Derek Clark said.

Battling through a setback, wasn’t unfamiliar territory for the Lexington point guard.

As a sophomore, she tore a labrum in her hip that sidelined her for the year. She returned as a junior, and shot 48% from behind the arc.

And just like her torn labrum, Graddy didn’t let her Crohn’s diagnosis slow her down.

Clark notes a game from this season as an epitome for her battle.

“We were down 11 [points] going into the fourth quarter against Pauls Valley and she came over and was basically throwing up on the bench,” Clark said. “And I had to physically take her out and she was sitting there just begging me to go back in. She didn’t want to miss a minute.”

When Graddy reentered the game, she was an instant spark for the Bulldogs.

“I was not ready to get my first loss of the season,” Graddy said. “And I was going to do anything to not let that happen.”

Battling sickness and dehydration, Graddy scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead Lexington to victory.

“We ended up scoring 38 in the fourth quarter,” Clark said. “In a high school basketball game, that is almost unheard of. And it was her, she was really good.”

Through the obstacles Graddy has faced throughout high school, she has proven she can overcome them with her determination.

“She’s that good of a player,” Clark said. “She’s definitely the best point guard I’ve ever coached.”

Know of a high school senior athlete we should highlight? Tell us why at NICsportsdesk@oklahoman.com.

James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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