| Lady Mountaineer Madden is a role model
Setting high-scoring records, receiving state recognition for consistent performance, helping lead her to team to national play twice, and serving as a team role model – Annbruce Madden has made her fair share of noteworthy contributions to Berea College’s Lady Mountaineers basketball team.
Senior point guard Madden was born and raised in Lexington, Ky., where she attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and played under Coach Mike Sowers. Although she didn’t begin playing on the varsity team until her junior year, she emerged her last two years to become one of the best players on the team. Madden pays a lot of homage to Laura Thomas for her success.
“She was the coach before I got there and my health and gym teacher,” Madden expresses. “She instilled a lot of life lessons and core values that I needed while in high school. She helped me become a better ball player.”
With the influence of older family members attending Berea College and insistence from her aunt, Madden began her journey at Berea College in the fall of 2006.
She openly admits that Berea was not an option on her list for colleges to attend, especially to play basketball, but after a little settling in she embraced the transition and learned to make the best of it.
“It started off a little rocky because I didn’t want to be here, but as time passed I realized that this was the place for me,” Madden candidly confessed.
When Madden first arrived on campus, Bunky Harkleroad was the women’s basketball coach. In her first year of play under him, she helped her team compete in the first round of nationals. Her junior year, she set the record for the year for most points scored in a game, with 36 points against Cincinnati Christian University. The same year, Madden once again helped lead her team to the first round of nationals, also making all-conference team.
At the end of her junior year, the team found out that Bunky would no longer be the coach. During her last year Madden would be under the mentorship of a new coach, Terence Brooks. As the solid player she is, Madden adjusted to the modification well. She considers the change to be an experience that she will never forget, expressing her gratitude for it.
“The change has made me a stronger player and also a smarter player."
In a team where the focus was shooting and getting the most points on the board, Madden had to rediscover the element of strict defense once Coach Brooks came into the picture. Madden admits that changing from a primarily offensive focus was like moving from one extreme to the another, but she says she appreciates the change.
“Playing defense was something that was emphasized a lot this year and was expected,” Madden shares. “It was instilled in us from day one that if you do not play defense, then you don’t play. I learned this the hard way. The change was really drastic, but one that I needed and am truly grateful for.”
During her senior year under the instruction of Coach Brooks, Madden has had several accomplishments. In the victory against Asbury (84-72) on January 19, she scored a remarkable 42 points – a career high.
“I will never forget the performance that she put on during the Asbury game at home,” Coach Brooks expresses. “She was in a zone!”
Madden was named the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Player of the Week on February 16 for her performances against Alice Lloyd and Cincinnati Christian University, where she averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 assists. She holds the record at Berea for most assists in a single year, with 172. She joined the 1,000 point club the first game of her last season against Milligan College, and she also joined 300 assist club. For the second consecutive year, she made all-conference team.
The 5’7 senior exhibits her undying love for basketball, devoting 28-30 hours to the game on top of an arduous 16-hour academic load of her Communications major. In addition, she spends more than 12 hours a week working for the Athletic Events Coordinating Team, where she organizes and helps run athletic events.
On and off the court Madden will be remembered. Many speak highly of her as she has lightened people’s lives with her positive energy, self-confidence and a sense of humor.
“I love Brucie,” teammate Tiffany Yates expresses. “She’s like the twin sister I never had.”
Madden graduated in May, but she avows to never forget her Berea journey and keep a mind full of memories.
“My most memorable moments consist of winning the KIAC and going to nationals my freshman and sophomore years, meeting my very best friends Jade Howard, Djuan Trent, Sherri Renee Jenkins, and Joshua Mallory a.k.a lil brah, and the hiring of Coach Brooks.”
After graduation Madden aspires to play professional basketball overseas. If plan A doesn’t follow through, she wants to attend graduate school with hopes of becoming a basketball coach on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s level.