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March 2018
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Abrams to Play College Lacrosse

Andee Abrams Signing Day


(Originally on Page 1 of the December 2017 edition of the Wichita Tribal News)


Dedication to sports begins for many athletes at a young age. For Wichita tribal member Andee Abrams, 17, she spent many years around the sport of lacrosse before she actually began to play.


"It was my seventh-grade summer going into eighth grade," Abrams said about when she began to play. "It's only been four or five years."


Now, Abrams will follow her high school graduation from Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C., with a scholarship to play college lacrosse.


On November 8, 2017, Abrams signed a national letter of intent to play women's lacrosse for Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.


The school is an established NCAA Division II national contender for both men's and women's lacrosse. The women's team is the current Conference Carolinas champion and were in the Division II national title game in 2013. The men's lacrosse team is the current Division II national champion.


Abrams is the daughter of Greg and Debbie Abrams; granddaughter of Carla Niastor and Mark Jonathan; and the great-granddaughter of the late Martha Reeder and Ray Niastor.


For Abrams, there is a strong family connection to the sport, especially on her maternal grandfather's Seneca side and father's Mohawk side of her family. According to her mother, Debbie Abrams, lacrosse among the Six Nations "was a medicine game for men," she said. "It wasn't really for girls. It's just recently that it started getting more popular-the elders are looking at it like it's okay for girls to play too."


Andee Scoring Goal


The family connection to the sport is also stronger due to her many years of watching her siblings, Ashley and Marcus Abrams, play lacrosse. Her brother Marcus, 21, is currently a junior at the United States Air Force Academy. He began playing at age three and was originally recruited to be a part of the military academy's lacrosse team. Abrams's older sister, Ashley, 26, began playing with boys at age eight. Her relative Keelan Seneca, currently a high school junior, is now committed to the University of Albany.


Abrams's lacrosse schedule includes team practice at least twice a week and "stick work on my own," she said. With the high school team, Abrams's season takes place each spring. During her sophomore year, Abrams was the second-leading scorer and helped her team make it to the final four of the North Carolina state playoffs. Yet, her playing is not limited to high school athletics. In the fall and summer, she is part of the Red Double United Elite travel lacrosse team.


"I definitely like playing with all of my friends," Abrams said. "It takes a lot of teamwork. It's more than just playing-I'm Native American. It means a lot just to play. I think about all of my ancestors when I'm playing it and everything they did."


While practice and dedication may have a large impact on Abrams's success, her mother Debbie Abrams credits the recruitment process by other colleges as having an influence as well.


"Every tournament we went to, she had so many schools reaching out to her," Debbie Abrams said. "Once she realized that all of these colleges were interested in her, that she was good enough to play at the next level, that's been a huge thing. I've seen a change in her confidence in the game."

The factors that influenced Abrams's decision to sign with Limestone College included the short distance from home-3.5 hours-to the smaller instructor-to-student ratio.


Another factor, according to Debbie Abrams, was that there are already three Native student-athletes who are already in the lacrosse programs.


"I think it's hard for Native kids, starting off at a new place and not being around any of their own," Debbie Abrams said. "With her going there and having some familiar faces, I think she'll do good. She'll fit in."


Outside of lacrosse, Abrams's academic interests include mathematics and outdoor activities such as hiking. Although Abrams is undecided in regards to a major, her interests lean toward athletic training and nursing.


Scott Tucker, the head coach of Limestone College's women's lacrosse program, said Abrams is "a strong attacker. She's a great finisher. Her stick skills are excellent, and she's athletic. She's going to be a great fit for us."