After long road, Markeith Madison leading Stillman men’s basketball

Three years ago, Stillman College basketball’s senior forward Markeith Madison was in a dark and scary place.

It was inside the back of an ambulance being rushed to the hospital. Sharp, shooting pain rushed down the sharpshooter’s back, and he didn’t know if he would ever walk again, much less play basketball.

It was ominous that day, and rainy. The roads were as slick as glass. Madison stopped at a routine traffic light on Highway 69 like he’d done thousands of times before. The next thing he knew, his body was jerked around violently, and an 18-wheeler was in his back seat.

“I just remember being carried away in an ambulance,” Madison said. “I was really in shock. I prayed the whole time that it wasn’t too serious.”

Madison suffered nerve damage in his lower back. He had to use a medical redshirt for his junior year to rehab. He questioned whether he’d ever return to the court and be the same player.

“Just being away from basketball really put things in perspective,” Madison said. “It made me realize how blessed I am just to be able to go out and do something I love every day. So it made me want to take my game to another level.”

This year, Madison put that question to rest. He eclipsed 1,000 points in his career, scoring almost 15 points per game and earned All-SIAC honors on his way to helping the Tigers (17–9, 13–6) clinch the SIAC West for the first time in school history. Madison is a fifth-year senior, and with his career winding down, he has one last chance this postseason to finish what he set out to do five years ago.

The Tigers are hot at the right time. They’ve won 9 of 11 to end the season, and first-year Stillman coach Donte Jackson said he expects Madison and his team to leave it all on the court at the conference tournament in Birmingham.

“He’s one of our biggest leaders on the court and off the court,” Jackson said. “Whatever I asked him to do, he did it and almost at 200 percent. I couldn’t be more proud of the kid. I want him to have a great going-out party.”

The Tigers enter the SIAC tournament with a bye in the opening round and will face the winner of the Monday game between Benedict and Kentucky State. Stillman’s game is set for Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. in Bill Harris Arena.

Originally published at on March 3, 2015.

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