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Plant City Observer Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 11 months ago

Athlete of the Week: Mackenzie Steele

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Steele powered Plant City basketball to a win Dec. 1.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

On Dec. 1, the Chamberlain Chiefs had no answer for Plant City guard Mackenzie Steele in the Raiders’ 40-30 win. Steele, a senior, finished with 31 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks. She is averaging 37 points, eight rebounds and four steals per game, is one of the Raiders’ two captains for the 2017-18 season and will play at Florida Southern College next year.

Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at [email protected] by the Friday before the next issue.

 

How were you feeling, going into the Chamberlain game?

Good. I was just ready to lead my team and try to do what I can to win, and help them learn. We don’t have a lot of experience.

 

With a group like this, where not everyone has a lot of varsity experience, what do you and Jordin (Vance, senior captain) work on with your teammates to help them?

The basics. We have to play defense to be able to win, so we had to start on that floor and let it take over in our offense. And just help each other out — communicate on the court and off the court … we have a lot of new girls that have played middle school ball but haven’t played in a few years, so it’s getting them back on the court and refreshing their memory as to how it goes.

 

What are you hoping to accomplish this season?

Definitely have a better record than last year and, hopefully, to go further.

 

What are your personal goals? On the court, in the classroom, wherever you’re putting in work.

To become a better player. To grow as a player and prepare for next year.

 

What made you choose Florida Southern over other schools?

When I was on the campus, around the coach and the team, it felt pretty much like home. It made me feel comfortable. It made me want to go there.

 

What are you going to major in?

I want to stay in sports, so something to do with physical therapy.

 

What’s been your proudest moment as a Raider?

Being able to wear this jersey.

 

When was it that you realized you wanted to keep playing basketball for as long as you could?

Middle school. Sixth grade was when it really hit me.

 

What’s something any young basketball player should know if they want to do what you’ve done — make varsity, stand out, earn a college scholarship?

You’ve got to put in the time off the court. Work on your own or work with anybody that will work with you and just let it show on the court.

 

What was a habit you changed and saw a major improvement in?

My ball handling. This summer, I put a lot of work into it. I’m known as a shooter but if I can put the ball on the floor, it makes me more dimensional and I can do more for my team.

 

What will you miss the most about high school ball?

Being with this team. Being in an environment where they’re all so supportive and you become sisters. It’s not just your team. You become a family.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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