Senior spotlight: Madison Quan’s PZ ’22 team mentality helps her shine on the court

A PP basketball player dribbles and signals towards teammates.
Madison Quan PZ ’22 gestures for her teammates to get open. (Abbey Liao • The Student Life)

“My personal growth has forever been inspired by the teammates and coaches I have surrounded myself with for the last four years. The team continues to teach me life-long lessons that I will bring into my career and life beyond basketball.” 

Reflecting on her impressive tenure as the star guard for Pomona-Pitzer women’s basketball, Madison Quan PZ ’22 will hang up her collegiate basketball shoes with a career 11.2 points and 3.1 assists per game scorer, averaging 39 percent from the floor. 

Quan recently received her second consecutive First Team All-SCIAC honors in recognition of her stellar season. She finished at the top of SCIAC leaderboard for steals, averaging 3.4 per game, and also put away an average of 17.8 points per game for her team, the fourth highest in the conference. 

But before she was leading the P-P team to a third place finish in the SCIAC Championships, Quan was just another kid lacing up kicks for her first practice. 

Hailing from Los Angeles, Quan started playing basketball when she was five years old. She originally wanted to pursue cheerleading but was inspired by her family to play basketball instead.

“Growing up watching my cousins and my uncles play in high school and recreational leagues sparked my interest to play basketball — I wanted to just be like them,” Quan said. 

In her junior year of high school, Quan visited the Claremont Colleges and was immediately interested in the programs and campuses. The following weekend, she received an email from the head coach for Pomona-Pitzer women’s basketball, who said that she took interest in Quan’s playing. 

During her freshman year at Pitzer, Quan was a part of the 2018-2019 team that, despite being ranked last going into the season, ended up winning the SCIAC championship and traveling to Wisconsin for the NCAA tournament. 

“No one believed we would go as far as we did — I’m not even sure we believed it ourselves when we made the tournament,” Quan said. “That moment will forever be cherished in my heart, and I frequently replay it in my head when going into every game.” 

“No one believed we would go as far as we did — I’m not even sure we believed it ourselves when we made the tournament. That moment will forever be cherished in my heart, and I frequently replay it in my head when going into every game.” — Madison Quan PZ ’22

In her following sophomore season, Quan saw an increase in playing time, going from an average of 16 minutes per game to a whopping 30 minutes per game. She was the only sophomore in the SCIAC conference to receive a First-Team All Conference bid that year, and she also tied the women’s basketball program’s record for most points scored in a single game — 38 points — in a win against Redlands. 

“I have never been someone that prides themselves on how many points they score in a game, but more as someone who values assists and sharing the ball more than anything,” Quan said. “I am honored that my teammates trust me the way they do, and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve that monumental career standout achievement without them.”

Quan’s basketball endeavors for the 2020-21 season were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, which she described as the biggest roadblock in her basketball career. But she learned how to bounce back from a negative situation, adding endurance training to her workouts and even developed a new style of breathing in light of required mask mandates. These changes elevated her playing ability for her senior season, Quan explained.

Due to the ongoing construction of Pomona’s new athletics center, many P-P teams have been left without a central place to practice. Quan said this impacted the team, but didn’t stop them from achieving their goals.

“[We] made it to the [SCIAC] championships despite all the adversity we have faced this entire season, including the lack of a ‘home court’ and locker room due to the construction of our athletics facility,” she said.

This year’s team went 11-5 in their conference, and beat Caltech and Chapman en route to a SCIAC Championship Game against Whittier, which they lost 79-63 in overtime. Despite the loss, Quan was proud of the team and their season accomplishments. 

“This year was hard on everyone, but our team’s character and resilience shone through by the way we finished out the season,” Quan said. “We are grateful to have gone to the SCIAC championships and play against strong competition; the potential this team has is remarkable, and I’m so excited to see how far they go in basketball and in life.”

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