Biddeford High School senior Gracie Martin has one more season left with the Tigers, but she is pictured above in the jersey she will be wearing next. Martin has verbally committed to Harvard to continue her academic and basketball careers. Submitted Photo

BIDDEFORD — Biddeford senior Gracie Martin had some impressive schools on her list of potential landing spots with Boston University and Northeastern University in the mix.
In the end it would be another Boston-based school that earned Martin’s verbal commitment as the Biddeford standout has decided to continue her academic and basketball career at Harvard.
“I mean Harvard’s Harvard … it was just such a good fit,” said Martin. “I love the coaches. I love the girls, obviously. My goal was to get into the highest academic institution I could and play Division I basketball and I think that’s the best option.”
Martin, who has won back-to-back Journal Tribune basketball MVP honors, didn’t realize how tough the recruiting process was going to be.
“It wasn’t easy at all. I kind of approached it with rose-colored glasses and was like, ‘oh yea, recruiting is going to be so fun.’ It was hard, but it was worth it,” said Martin.
The Biddeford senior participated in the Harvard Elite Camp in June and would receive an offer from the Division I Crimson just after she left campus.
“Actually, we were all in the car together and the coach was on the speaker and she told me,” said Martin, who was traveling with her parents Steve and Julie. “We just started crying out of happiness. They were so proud of me and I can’t thank them enough.”
Like a lot of parents of talented young athletes, the Martins did everything they could to give Gracie this opportunity.
“They are just so great. I appreciate them so much,” said Martin. “They take time out of their summer. Our only time (off) in the summer is the first two weeks in August. I mean we’re traveling throughout the whole year and spending big money on basketball and it worked out eventually.”
Martin also credits her time with the Maine Firecrackers AAU team with getting her the exposure that brought her to Harvard.
“It was a world of difference. I played on some local AAU teams and then my sophomore year I switched over and played Firecrackers. I mean you have 40 (Division I) schools on the baseline (for tournaments),” Martin said.
Martin hasn’t experienced much team success on the basketball court for the Tigers, but she has loved her time playing for Biddeford coach Katie Herbine.
“Our coach is great. She’s such a great mentor and such a good thing for the program,” said Martin.
Martin believes her time at BHS has played a key role in her development on the court and in the classroom — and the senior is certainly happy that she stayed home for her high school career.
“I was supposed to transfer to McCauley or Cheverus my sophomore year and I was just like ‘I love this place. I love the community,’” Martin recalled. “I love the blue-collar work ethic and how nothing is really given to you and that’s taught me a lot of lessons. I mean being on a team where our best season so far we won five games that can teach you a lot. It makes it that much better and makes you a team player and to help everyone around you get better.”
Martin won a softball state championship alongside her older sister, Erin, when she was a freshman — and that experience helped her realize how special her time at Biddeford High could be.
“After (the state title) I just realized Biddeford’s a good place. It has this ongoing reputation of it being something it’s not. Things are happening in Biddeford. It’s a great place and I just wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Martin.
Martin will need to use that hard-working mindset that is synonymous with Biddeford when she heads off to Harvard and has to juggle being a Division I athlete and a student at one of the world’s premier universities.
“I think it’s going to be good. I’ve talked to a lot of the girls about it and they said you just have to balance it and make your time worth it. I’m excited for the opportunities at Harvard — just the culture and diversity — I’m really excited,” said Martin.
Before she heads to Harvard, the Biddeford standout is looking to make more memories with the Tigers.
“I would say (for) volleyball, definitely a state championship,” said Martin on her goals for this year. “(In) basketball we want to try to make playoffs — whether it’s the last seed or not, we want to get in there.”
Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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