Feature- McKenna de Graaf

When/How did you start playing soccer?

I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old, because my dad put me in all the sports possible.  So I played soccer, I swam, played tee ball, even flag football, and gymnastics, but then I just stuck with soccer because I enjoyed it most. 

Who was the biggest influence on your soccer career?

Probably my dad because he’s always pushed me.  He’s the one who put me in the sport, so he’s my biggest critic and my biggest fan. He and I would watch soccer games together on TV so I could gain more knowledge about the sport. He would also give pointers to help improve my game.  

How did you end up at Campbell? 

Out of high school I committed to Mississippi State, but in the spring of my freshman year we had a coaching change.  I wanted to transfer and find a different program to be apart of, and my old club coach introduced me to Samar (Azem).  I took an official visit and committed about two weeks later.  

Favorite soccer memory at Campbell?

My favorite part was the pre-game locker room.  It was really fun and we always had a good time. To me, the little things like the pre-game atmosphere made the memories better.

If you had to be stranded on an island with two teammates, who would you pick?

I would say Alexa but I feel like she’d be too…..she’d stress me out.  Definitely Rosie because Rosie’s pretty chill and rational and she’s strong so she could build stuff.  I’d also say Sydney because she has outdoor experience working at camps.   

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to relax and watch Netflix, or hang out with friends. I also volunteer when possible. I’m currently helping the local Boys and Girls Club.

What is your favorite animal and why?

Definitely a hippo because no one really messes with them.  They’re basically the kings of the river. Their babies are also really cute, and they actually can run really fast despite the size- just like me.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on taking a gap year to do an internship and see what I like in the medical field, and then apply for med school.  

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