When it comes to being elite, sometimes it can take a player years to reach this level, or they can be great from day one. The latter is the case for Mount sophomore basketball player Maddie Haberthy. She attended Mother of Mercy High School, and has been in the spotlight since her junior year there.
She was team captain and made the all-conference team, while solidifying herself as a force to be reckoned with in high school. She followed her junior year with a spectacular senior season, winning a variety of major awards. Although she caught the attention of many schools, she knew they wouldn’t all have the experience she wanted.
When I talked to Haberthy personally, she enlightened me about her thought process. “School is the most important aspect for me,” she says, “Attending a Division I school like the Mount gives me the opportunity to get a top notch education, while still getting the chance to play the game I love at a high level.”
Things didn’t change for Haberthy when she stepped on the court to play for the Lions. From day one she impressed and gained the respect of her coaches and teammates. From the drills, scrimmages, and her work ethic, it was clear that she was going to be a star. As a freshman going into the season, her teammates told her that she was going to be the player that makes the team work harder. A team full of excellent leaders realized that they had someone special, and gave Maddie the keys to the machine. She didn’t disappoint one bit.
Haberthy went on to average 15 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the field, all while shooting an outstanding 87 percent from the free throw line. She was named first team all-conference, and also crowned HCAC Freshman of the Year.
Although she earned all of these accolades, she did it quietly.
“Since I was a true freshman, I felt like it wasn’t my place to be a vocal leader,” she says. “We had great upperclassmen that had been through, and accomplished more than I had. I just kept my head down, put in the work, and stayed ready to help my team in any way they needed me to.”
When asked how she had so much success so early in her college career, she was adamant that it’s all about work ethic.
“I would come into practice an hour early and shoot, doing drills of 250 makes before practice even started. I would also take time to work on dribbling and watch extra film. I couldn’t take a day off; my team needed me to be my best.”
Work ethic is what separates the average from the good, the good from the great, and the great from the elite. Haberthy also proves that age and class are just classifications. She went into the season as one of the youngest players in the conference, and midway through the season she was one of the best players in the conference.
As Haberthy heads into her sophomore season, her mindset has changed a bit. The expectations for her have gone through the roof, and much of the season will revolve around her.
When asked what was on her mind going into sophomore year, she said, “I’ve been dealing with some shin splints during the offseason, so I’m doing my best to get healed for the season. I feel good right now, and should be ready by our first game.”
In terms of her performance on the court, she is still looking to improve. “I’m a perfectionist. If I’m doing a drill and I miss a shot, I will start over from the beginning,” she says. “If I miss an assignment on defense, that’s an extra sprint or suicide I run.”
Will she be taking on a bigger role in leadership? “Oh absolutely, this year I will be a more vocal leader, while also leading by example,” she says. “I will facilitate more practices, pull players to the side and talk to them, and make sure we are watching film and preparing for every game with a winning mentality.”
Haberthy and the Lions kick off the season Nov. 10 against Hiram College.