Five-feet, two inches+ dedication+ Katie Martin = a big future

By Megan Drabek

Standing at 5-2, this junior basketball player at Madonna University lets nothing get in her way.  As an aspiring and promising doctor, denoted student, and dedicated athlete, size is the least of her worries.  Any guesses who this 20-year-old woman is?

Despite her size, Katie Martin has some big things going for her.  And that’s right—no pun intended. 

Katie, a high school graduate from Gabriel Richard, was quick to set her heart set on Madonna University initially because of its notorious Nursing program; however, her speed and quickness didn’t go unnoticed for very long when it came to basketball.  She joined the team her freshman year as a guard, making her the smallest on the team.

“I love everything about my team,” said Katie.  “We are like a big family.  I have created so many close friendships and relationships here.”

One friendship, she added, has stemmed back from high school.  Tabatha Wydryck, the only senior on the team this year, played with Katie at Gabriel Richard.  They live in a house together, along with one other basketball player and a former softball player.

“Being a senior next year, I know that I have to learn the ropes.  Because I live with Tabatha, I am able to see how she runs things and motivates the team,” said Katie.  “I want to be able to provide those tools for the team next year.”

And not only does she provide motivation on the court, but in the classroom as well.  The 4.0 GPA student-athlete dreams of becoming a doctor, and chances are, will not fail.

Katie dedicates a lot of her time in the classroom, serving as a Supplemental Instructor, tutor, and a teacher’s assistant in the Chemistry department.  She also participates in Campus Ministry, where she is co chairman of Peace and Justice. 

Many might know Katie for the leader of a prayer at the end of basketball games, too.

“I wanted to bring the idea of Campus Ministry to athletics, so I proposed it to Bryan Rizzo,” said Katie.  “I think that it is important to tie in the messages of the University with athletics.”

Currently, Katie is taking three academic courses: Physics II, Biochemistry, and Women in Literature online.  Campus involvement, plus her extensive and intense courses, plus basketball practices games and road trips, makes for one complicated and time consuming equation.

Katie found the solution to this problem sooner than most.

“Now that I am a junior, I have adapted to the hectic schedule.  Once you learn to adapt, it’s a lot easier,” she said. 

About 80 percent of the basketball team is pre-med majors, so group study and support is crucial during the in-season.

“It’s pretty funny when we are on the road.  Any chance we get we will study.  We have even quizzed each other during practice,” she added.

Being a student-athlete can be strenuous and difficult at times, but it has not defeated Katie at any point during her three years at Madonna.  If anything, it has helped her.

Katie recently landed a very unique and motivating place at the Children’s Hospital in Detroit, where she works along side two doctors, studying MRI scans of neonates and young babies.  She also draws tracks of the brain and creates statistics. 

“I wanted to volunteer down there and try to possibly get a publication for a med school application,” Katie said. 

Katie puts 100 percent in everything she does—all 5’2” of her.  While juggling campus involvement activities, chemistry lab times, and basketball practices and game, she never forgets what the most important part is—being a student.

“Always make sure you are a student first.  People say that, but to actually do it is a different thing,” she said.  “The lessons you learn here are going to benefit your future.”