By Laura Amato
Madison Rowland knows it will all sink in eventually. She’ll realize what she’s done and what she’s accomplished and she’ll think of 2,182 and smile. She knows eventually it will feel real, but right now it feels a bit like a basketball-based dream.
The Queens College senior star made Knights history Saturday afternoon, becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,182 career points, surpassing Shalonda Young’s previous record of 2,166.
“I feel like when I get older it’ll be more like ‘Wow!’,” said Rowland, who finished with 21 points in her record-breaking game. “But since I’m in the moment, I’m still kind of just focused on the season. It’s a huge accomplishment and I’m well aware of that, but there’s still games.”
Rowland was just six points away from history ahead of the game – the same amount she needed when she crested the 2,000-point mark in January – and she’s the first to admit that she had a few more nerves than normal when she suited up.
“I was overly focused on it,” Rowland said. “So I wasn’t really playing my normal game because I was too focused on that. I was definitely trying to get the six points so I could just get it out of the way and just focus on the game.”
Rowland captured the record early in the third quarter and as soon as she saw the ball go through the hoop, she finally felt like she could take a deep breath. She started playing her brand of basketball again.
“After I scored the six points, I was like, OK, finally that’s over with,” Rowland said. “I focused on the game and I just started playing like normal. Everything was just normal after that.”
Rowland came to Queens College four years ago with one very simple plan – she wanted to play basketball and wanted to play as well as she could.
Now, she’s become one of the program’s defining players and, with the help of her two sisters, MacKenzie and Merrick, Rowland has helped lift the Knights to a brand-new level of competition.
“I wasn’t planning on this at all,” Rowland said. “We’ve always been the underdogs, up until pretty much this season. So we took that personally and we did all we could to put this school on the map.”
As if setting the program’s point record isn’t enough, Rowland is closing in on yet another accolade. The senior guard is just nine rebounds away from 1,000 career rebounds, a feat that would make her the first player in program history to reach that number in addition to scoring 2,000 points.
She also – for good measure – recently set the ECC record for in both career points and steals.
Rowland’s final season on the college hardwood has been a whirlwind, but it’s not over quite yet and if there’s one more thing the star wants to accomplish, it’s leading her team to on a title run.
In the end, she might care about that more than anything else.
“I think that’s why everybody is focused on a championship and making it out of the East because we all know what we’re capable of,” Rowland said. “I love the atmosphere and the competition, so I really can’t wait for the playoffs to start.”