She dribbles down the court, blonde hair held to her head with a strip of prewrap, but only as a precaution – the sweat already makes her bangs cling to her forehead. She chest passes to her teammate, darts under the net, pivots for the return, then goes in for a lay-up, her Nikes a foot off the ground.
Basketball, an irreplaceable part of her past, is now a fast-coming part of Janna Graf’s future.
With an acceptance letter from Yale University and a basketball in hand, Graf will be making her way to New Haven this coming fall. After browsing countless college clinics, and visiting schools across the country, she found her place at Yale.
“The team, coaches and school all fit,” Graf said. “I loved every aspect of the whole program and team and instantly knew it was where I wanted to play.”
Her family has been supportive of her passion from the get-go, signing her up for numerous teams and helping her hone her skills in the driveway since she started playing 12 years ago. Graf’s two older brothers guided her through the steps, teaching her the motions of lay-ups and assists before she’d even joined a team.
Though Graf will be highly involved in the women’s basketball program, she plans on excelling in other programs and in her academic studies. With two $1000 scholarships for academic excellence under her belt, Graf has already shown her potential for handling the course load at Yale.
“Next year I know I have to be very organized in order to balance academics with athletics,” Graf said. “It will be a challenge adjusting, but I know I’ll have a great time.”
Graf plans on choosing her career path while attending school, but wants to work in New York City after she graduates from Yale.