May 20—VALDOSTA — When it comes to being a student-athlete, Kiersten Graham has done some of everything.
Graham, who just earned All-State honors in discus for Lowndes' track and field team, signed a basketball scholarship with Coastal Alabama Community College on Wednesday.
The 5-foot-9 senior averaged 5.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals while playing in all 16 games for the Vikettes this season. An All-Region 1-7A Second Team performer the past three seasons, Graham helped lead the Vikettes to a 10-6 record and a GHSA Class 7A state playoff appearance.
"It means lot to me," Graham said. "I feel like I have a lot of potential to do really good at Coastal Alabama and I'm happy that they wanted me to go there. ... When I went on my visit there, I met the players and they seem really good. I met the coaches and they all seem really nice. I felt right at home there."
Graham joins a Sun Chiefs team that finished 12-9 last season under head coach Linda Pitts, who has been head coach the past 27 seasons.
Much like Graham, Pitts has spent time in different sports, coaching five different sports at the college level.
"I feel like I'll fit in really well with the program," Graham said. "Their program is just a nice fit for me and what I want to accomplish."
Graham has competed in basketball, cross country and track and field at Lowndes. She was a key part of the track and field program, helping the team to the last three region championships in their current run of seven straight.
According to Graham, playing three sports in high school was a major advantage as she stayed active and kept in shape as the seasons overlapped.
Third-year head basketball coach Antonia Tookes spoke about what Graham's signing means to her after her signing on Wednesday.
"I am so proud of her," Tookes said of Graham. "She put in the work all three years I coached her and this is her next. Coach (Randy McPherson) is always telling us to get the student-athletes to their next. She chose basketball and she's a three-sport star. I'm elated that she chose basketball and I know she'll do well."
One aspect Tookes cites for Graham's move to the next level is her versatility.
While at Lowndes, Graham played three different positions for the Vikettes — shuttling between small and power forward while also handling some playmaking duties at the shooting guard position.
"She is coachable," Tookes said when asked what makes Graham a special player. "She is coachable. Anything I ask her to do, she goes beyond whatever I ask. Any part of the team I ask her to play in, she's flexible. If I need her to play the five (center) or the four (power forward), she's flexible. She can play anywhere I would like for her to play and she's very coachable."
After four years at Lowndes and cultivating a decorated career as a multi-sport star, Graham plans to major in psychology at Coastal Alabama.
Once all the pictures with her family, coaches and teammates were taken and many hugs and smiles were shared, Graham talked about what she'll miss most about Lowndes High School once she graduates May 28.
"I'm going to miss my teammates and my coaches," Graham said. "I'm going to miss everyone. Playing basketball here at Lowndes and playing sports here, I'm going to miss all of that."