Buckeye big man happy to be back in Central Ohio
Columbus native returns home to be part of the Buckeye family
by David Oglethorpe, athletics commnications
Whether you spend your freshman year 20 minutes or 20 hours from home, the first year at college is a difficult transition for an entire family. For Dublin, Ohio, native Kyle Madsen, this was never more apparent as he decided to make the move to Nashville, Tenn., and enroll at Vanderbilt University.
The Madsen’s are a close-knit family and the distance from Columbus to Nashville proved to quite a challenge.
“I missed my family and my friends,” Madsen said, taking a break from team weight-training. “We’re really busy all the time with basketball, so I was only able to come home once my freshman year. I liked my teammates and I liked my coaches, but it was really more of just wanting to be in Columbus.”
Madsen’s first year at Vanderbilt led to an unexpected surprise; he was redshirted. However, this ended up as a blessing in disguise as he began to feel even more homesick as the year progressed. Patty, Madsen’s mother, remembers the year well.
“When he first made his decision, I don’t think he thought he was going to be that far away but their season goes for so long and you don’t get that much time off. You go into this thinking it’s your best choice and once you get there things change.”
After his freshman year, Madsen decided to transfer back home to Ohio State on a newly offered scholarship and, as a result, had to sit out his next year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. However, thanks to the redshirt, he still had three years of eligibility remaining.
Returning to the court as a sophomore, Madsen played a season-high 13 minutes against Iowa and scored a season-best six points vs. Texas A&M in preseason action. Regardless of playing time, he was just happy to be home in Columbus.
“It was difficult because had I stayed, I would have had a really good opportunity, but in the end, I thought about it and this is where I wanted to be,” Madsen said.”
Back in his Dublin home, surrounded by Patty and Jim, his father, and his two brothers, Scott and Tyler, Madsen finds time to relax and take care of laundry.
“He comes home every so often and I notice the big laundry bag,” Patty laughed. “Every once in a while I’m glad to do it. It makes me feel good and I really don’t mind, but then you remember what you’re doing and you don’t really want to go back to it.”
With Scott currently playing football for Miami (Ohio), the two brothers can relate to each other about being student-athletes. They talk about their upcoming schedules and how they work through juggling an academic career with an athletic one.
Tyler, Madsen’s youngest brother, is now in sixth grade and the duo always spends time together when Madsen comes home.
“Kyle’s really good with Tyler. He’s a really great brother; he’s almost like a second mom,” Patty said. “He takes him when he goes places and shares his love of sports. I think Tyler is too young to understand everything now, but one day he’s going to be like, wow’, that’s pretty neat that my brother played for Ohio State.”
Lately, The Ohio State University has been fortunate enough to gain more than one “transfer” from Vanderbilt University. The same year that Madsen made the journey back up to Columbus, Gordon Gee, Ohio State’s returning President, also made the switch.
“We’ve talked about returning to Ohio State around the same time and to be honest, I think he’s following me,” Madsen joked. “But, he really is an awesome guy and it’s great to see him here.”
Family plays an important role in every life. Whether it’s a familiar bed for the night, a warm home-cooked meal or even an overdue load of laundry, it’s comforting to know that you can always come home.
But as for the 2008-09 basketball season, Madsen looks forward to the challenges of a new year.
“We’re a young team and we’ll have our share of learning problems, but I think we’ll do fine,” Madsen said. “We’re a really tight group of guys and everybody gets along really well. I think I have a good opportunity this year as well, one that I haven’t had in a while, so I’m going to try and take advantage of it.”