Marlborough’s Graham Asum thrives on the field and the court

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By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

Marlborough Shamrocks receiver Graham Asum smiles on the sideline of a recent game. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – Graham Asum has long been a busy man in the world of Marlborough sports. 

Recently, though, he’s sat at the center of a particularly bright spotlight. He’s a star receiver for the Marlborough Shamrocks and the newly appointed head coach for the Marlborough High School (MHS) Boys Varsity Basketball team. 

“It’s awesome,” he said after an Aug. 21 Shamrocks game. “I’m a Marlborough guy. I’ve been here 15 years or so. [So], to be able to play in front of my community and to also work in the school and have a head coaching job, it’s been awesome. It’s an awesome experience.”

Sports journey features twists and turns

Asum moved to Marlborough from Framingham prior to his freshman year of high school.

He played a number of sports at MHS, eventually rising to the role of quarterback on the varsity football team. 

Upon graduation, Asum excelled in his next football chapter at Worcester State University, earning looks from the New York Jets and the Patriots. 

These days, Asum is a paraeducator at MHS where he’s helped coach the football team and where he is gearing up for his first season at the helm of the Boys Basketball program.

On Saturdays, he’s also often back at Kelleher Field where he regularly delights fans as a go-to receiving target of Shamrocks quarterback Blake Rice. 

“At the end of the day, I just call myself a football player,” he said of his many position changes, including a stint at defensive back at Worcester State. 

“Wherever I go, I work on my craft and I just go from there,” he said.

Asum delights Shamrocks fans

Asum is at times a quiet presence on the sidelines of those Shamrocks games.

On Aug. 21, however, he gave fans an especially memorable moment to cheer for late in what was a 31-26 loss to the Connecticut Panthers.

Graham Asum runs during his team’s Aug. 21 game against the Connecticut Panthers. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

With Marlborough driving down the field in the fourth quarter, Asum darted between the hash marks, deep in the Connecticut redzone. 

Rice locked eyes with him and drilled a laser of a pass into Asum’s hands. But the humid air had soaked the entire field and the game ball itself with condensation.

“The ball actually went through my hands,” Asum said. “I should have caught it the first time but as a receiver you’ve got to stay focused.”

Asum tipped the ball once before stumbling towards the ground, he tipped it at least once more to then haul in the acrobatic catch.  

“I’m just glad nobody was there to line me up and blast me,” Asum said. 

Shamrocks anticipate end of regular season

A full season of fall sports now separates Asum from his head coaching debut at MHS. 

The Shamrocks, meanwhile, are in the midst of a hard-fought sprint towards the New England Football League postseason. 

Looking to bounce back from their loss to Connecticut, Asum and his teammates are eyeing an Aug. 28 road game against the Rhode Island Cowboys before they come home for their regular season finale on Sept. 11 against the Connecticut Mustangs. 

“At the end of the day, we’ve just got to make plays,” Asum said of the team. “Guys got to execute what our game plan is and we got to go out there and do it at 100 miles per hour.”