Upon first seeing Graeme Radford, 22, one may categorize him as the strong, silent type. In the Stetson coffee shop, sitting with his head slightly downward listening to his iPod while accompanied by his chocolate muffin and mocha, there is no question why one would think this. However, after conversing with the Hatter’s center for basketball, it soon became apparent that there is more to Radford than his athleticism and Australian accent.
Radford, a Business major who at first majored in Physics, has played basketball for fourteen years. Although he played other sports, including cricket in Australia, he “always stuck with basketball”. He was introduced to basketball by a family friend and was asked to play by the children in his school because he was “always the tall one. Always.” From there he played junior ball and at the ages of fifteen and sixteen played for men’s leagues and progressed to state teams for about four years. Ironically, in Australia Radford played for Rod Popp, who once coached at Stetson. At the age of eighteen, Radford moved to United States due to the lack of collegic basketball in Australia. When asked why he chose to live in Florida, Radford casually replied, “Why not?”
To get focused for games, Radford listens to music. A few favorites listed were Rage Against the Machine, Muse, and “all sorts of music”. Even at times when it’s difficult to concentrate, Radford maintains his cool. He said, “I keep a level head. Once I’m out there, I’m out there”.
Yet, there is a different Graeme Radford displayed on the court than the one off the court. Regarding the two Graemes, Radfrom explained, “It’s a bit different, but I’m more quiet off the court. I’m not exceptionally loud on the court, but I’m more aggressive. My teammates and coach still call me ‘The Warrior’. I picked that nickname my freshman year and it stuck.” When asked to confirm his quote, Radford replied, “Actually I’m a bit louder on the court now that I think about it.”
Radford further explained his volume level on the court. “Basketball requires me to be louder out there to help the team,” he said. “Not that I’m the only one – we have a couple of guys that really step up as leaders. My position requires me to direct traffic on the court.”
Despite this statement, Radford did not name specific leaders on the team but instead replied, “It’s hard to say at the moment because we have such a young team. We haven’t been practicing much…we have guys who have potential to be leaders. They’re really loud and enthusiastic…as the season progresses, we’ll see who steps up. I’m the only senior, so there’s definitely some leadership that falls on me but I’m happy to take that on.”
On the subject of what he is looking for in girls, Radford jokingly said, “I’m looking for an Australian one. There is none here. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding(laughs).” He then thoughtfully added, “[A]good sense of humor…I joke a lot so I need someone to keep up, not take me seriously.” Looks wise for the female sex, he stated, “Tall is nice.”
Since it was apparent early on in the interview that his childhood peers used his height to convince him to join the basketball team, I asked if people ever used his height for their own advantage. Chuckling, Radford replied, “No, that’s usually the little old lady in Publix. No, I haven’t had too much of that. Not that I mind.”