Charlotte women's basketball sophomore forward Mya McGraw has grown as a player and leader for the team.
On Dec. 31, 2022, McGraw recorded a career-high 17 points and nine rebounds in Charlotte's 66-57 road win at Louisiana Tech. After the win, Head Coach Cara Consuegra said McGraw was vital to the team's performance.
"Mya's confidence after she missed a couple early was huge. We wanted to give her the ball as much as we could. She was tremendous. I hope we continue to gain confidence," said Consuegra.
Growing up in Gainesville, Fla., McGraw was around the game of basketball at a young age as her dad, Mark, coached, and her siblings played. McGraw said she intended to do something different with her life but ended up falling with the game.
"I've always had my mind set on the fact that I was gonna do something different to be the golden child, but I ended up loving basketball," said McGraw.
McGraw's basketball career started in middle school.
"I'll never forget my seventh-grade year, trying out. I wanted to make the middle school team, but my coach ended up putting me on varsity, and I didn't play, but I did get the experience. I went against some great competition in practice, and once it started paying off, I started having a love for the game," said McGraw.
Life off the court
Her sister and mom are the two most impactful people in her life. Her sister played at the collegiate level and could not finish her career, and McGraw has always wanted to pick up where she left off. As for her mother, she instilled a work ethic that has stuck with McGraw.
Teammate fifth-year guard Kameron Roach said McGraw is loud, goofy and energetic.
"Mya is a big leader for us on and off the court," said Roach. "We love her big personality and the energy she brings on the court and in the locker room."
McGraw said her energy comes from her family environment.
"Everything is always loud. It's always bright and fun, and I think that's what's most important, especially in the difficult times too," said McGraw.
On the court
Throughout the season, McGraw has seen more playing time going from six minutes in 2021-22 to 25 minutes in 2022-23. McGraw is becoming a significant role in the offense averaging 6.6 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 49.5% from the field.
With this increase, McGraw said she is still learning from her mistakes.
"I'm still young, and I'm still trying to have an important role and know how capable I am of things," said McGraw. "As it continues, I think my mind has to stay focused as things have improved. I've been double-teamed and triple-teamed. That is one of the most frustrating things, but I must keep my mind together."
McGraw said that chemistry is a big part of the puzzle and wants that for her team. Charlotte is a relatively new team, and there are still pieces to be worked on.
"What'll be most important for us is to understand that we all are different. When we get on the court, I think it'll be essential for our team to have chemistry and understand each other, and that starts with understanding each other outside of basketball," said McGraw.
McGraw and the 49ers will be back in action on Thursday, Jan. 26, when they finish a three-game series at home against the Rice Owls. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. inside Halton Arena and will be available to stream on ESPN+.