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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Patience pays off for Idaho’s Graham

Idaho senior post Jessica Graham is as healthy as she's been during a difficult college career that included multiple injuries to her left knee. Her Vandals, too, are having a healthy season in the Western Athletic Conference. Read story

Graham said her injuries have affected her jumping, speed and pivoting, but she compensates however she can.

One constant, she said, has been the support of Idaho coach Jon Newlee.

"He's been by my side the entire time," Graham said. "He said as long as I wanted to play, he was going to make it happen. He's always said I have passion for the game."

Graham said she's never seen a Vandals team with such team chemistry. Many of the Vandals' top players will be around for two or three more years.

"We have great players, well-rounded, and everybody on the team can score," she said. "This is going to be a great team for a while."

Graham's parents, Steve and Shari, both played basketball at Cal State Stanislaus. They divorced long ago, both both see as many of Jessica's games as possible.

Steve is a dean at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. Jessica plans to live in one of his rental houses when she returns to California after graduation. She has an internship set up at her father's college and she may teach night classes.

Shari is a sales manager representative for a company that makes corrugated boxes. Jessica has two half-brothers from her mother's second marriage.

Jessica's brother, Justin, played at WAC rival San Jose State and became well-known for his humor and long hair during his playing days. He plays in Slovakia now.

"My brother and I watched each other play at WAC tournaments," Jessica said.


Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. He currently is a copy editor for the Sports Desk.

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