By: Jenny Anderson
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With less than two weeks away from Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships, Santa Clara Broncos reporter Jenny Anderson caught up with freshman Graham McClone (GM) to talk about his rookie season. McClone has contributed to the Broncos success thus far in the season. Joining his older brother, Casidhe McClone, McClone reflects on how his older brother has influenced him.
JA: What aided you in your decision to come to Santa Clara?
GM: A few things aided in my decision to attend school here. I wanted to play water polo here and the team itself played a large role in my decision, but aside from water polo; my brother—who I'm very close to—goes here as well. Then when looking at the school itself and the students who have graduated from here, it was hard for me to not want to go here.
JA: What has been the most difficult part about transitioning from high school to college?
GM: Time management. For most students who have been accepted to Santa Clara, time management has never been a problem. However, once everything is thrown together, water polo, school and of course sleeping and eating, finding free time is difficult to do.
JA: How long have you been playing water polo?
GM: I started playing water polo in 5th grade. I was in 3rd grade when my brother, Casidhe, Began learning the sport, and since he was doing it, I had to. It's grown to be one of the most important aspects of my life and how I define myself, not to mention how it has brought me to school with my brother.
JA: How is it playing on the same team as your older brother?
GM: Playing with Casidhe is a dream come true. We played together for a few years on our club team, but I never could have dreamed that we could play together in college. Aside being a person for me to look up to in the classroom setting, he is even more admirable in the pool, where I truly believe he is the hardest working individual.
JA: You have already had a successful first season with the Broncos, what has led to your success?
GM: Regarding personal success, I think that a successful season for an individual has a direct correlation to his team and how they work together. In other words, the success I may have had couldn't have happened with out the teammates that I have. They push me everyday in practice and in games. There are some individuals, such as Joey Wall, who really give off a strong positive vibe, which really helps with self-confidence in games. Other than these things, I try to listen to upperclassmen and to coach in order soak up as much information as possible. I've found that having a greater understanding of the sport has really helped me play better.
JA: With less than two weeks left in season, what personal and team goals have you set?
GM: Personally, I'd like to improve my playing over these next few weeks. I need to work on shooting and my Help Defense. A major goal of mine is to contribute in a positive manner to the team each and every game. As a team, we have set a goal of winning our conference and attending the NCAA tournament. I know this is attainable, we just need to continue to play as a team and take the rest of our season as one game at a time and not get too far in the season.
JA: What do you enjoy to do in your free time outside of the pool?
GM: In my free time I'm normally found wrestling polar bears in Alaska. Just kidding, but I do enjoy reading, swimming and throwing a ball around in the pool. I really like spending time with my team and the friends I have made here at SCU. I'm also a big proponent of naps.