SHELBURNE, N.S. – For the third year in a row, Shelburne’s Mackenzie Smith will be suiting up for Team Nova Scotia, moving up from the U15 division to the U17 girls’ basketball squad.
She will play forward for the upcoming summer season, which includes competing at the Canadian National Basketball Championships in Fredericton from Aug. 6 to 11.
A Grade 10 student at Shelburne Regional High School, “Mackenzie is a great girl with tremendous athletic ability. Her passion is basketball, and she works hard at it every day,” said high school coach John Huskilson.
During this past NSSAF season Smith led her high school team to a sixth place finish at D2 provincials, as point guard and co-captain.
“As leading scorer, the team feels very confident when the ball is in her hands,” said Huskilson. “Shelburne High has never had a female basketball player with as much skill, ability, and talent as Mackenzie possesses.”
Smith, 16, has been shooting hoops since she was five or six years old.
“I like the aggression of it,” she said when asked what it was she liked about the game. “All of it really but mostly the aggression and the fast pace.”
Smith said she was excited to make the team, which has just started practicing and she is “really excited about the summer season,” which also includes a week of competition in Montreal. This will be Smith’s third trip to nationals, which she said is a good experience and provides the opportunity to see all the good players from other provinces.
Smith hopes to advance to university ball after graduating high school in 2020. In the meantime, she trains by going to the gym, does a lot of running and practices. Smith said both Huskilson and coach Doug Hartley have really helped her during the past three years that they have been her school coaches.
In addition to high school basketball, Smith also plays spring and fall basketball with club teams, as well as soccer, softball and badminton high school sports.