Some basketball players are selfish, looking to score with every opportunity, and many times are not team players. Mountain Vista 5-foot-7 junior point guard Mackenzie Gamble is not one of those …
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Some basketball players are selfish, looking to score with every opportunity, and many times are not team players.
Mountain Vista 5-foot-7 junior point guard Mackenzie Gamble is not one of those players and is still trying to get more comfortable with her abilities to do a myriad of things on a basketball court.
Vista coach Mike Willahan keeps reminding Gamble to take shots instead of looking to make a pass.
“My leadership has struggled,” said Gamble, who is considering playing lacrosse in the spring. “As a point guard you are put into that position as the leader. Coming into high school that was a big step and I have definitely matured in that area. I get in a lot of shooting during the break between club and the high school seasons.
“I have to continue to be the best leader for my team, having an attack mentality for 100 percent of the game and having the endurance to play that kind of basketball. It's weird, the transition between your underclassman years to your upperclassman years, because you have to look back on how you were as a freshman and sophomore. When you get to your upperclassman years you have to remember you are bringing those younger kiddos with you.”
Gamble started in gymnastics but switched to basketball since her brothers play basketball. Older brother Corbin is on Vista's boys team and Henry is a freshman on the junior varsity team.
“I had a decent foundation when I was very little,” said Gamble. “Anticipation is one of my better strengths. I'm not the fastest on my team but I have the basketball IQ and the anticipation of seeing the ball and knowing where it is going to go. I love assists. I love being able to make my teammates better and being the best they can be.”
After the first six games of the season, Gamble is averaging 10 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and four steals per game.
“There's not much she can't do on the basketball court. She deserves to be mentioned with the rest of the top point guards in the state.”
Mountain Vista girls basketball coach
Q&A with Mackenzie Gamble
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Steph Curry. He's tiny compared to the other players but he can still dominate as a point guard. I don't know specific players, but the Florida Gators girls basketball team. They have an extremely good program and my parents both went to the University of Florida.
What would be a perfect performance in your sport?
A win would be nice for sure and then personally just playing extremely good defense, getting steals, assisting my teammates. Scoring is always nice and being able to celebrate with my team would be nice.
What is your favorite class in school and why?
AP psychology. Actually one of the basketball coaches (Pat McGuire) is one of the teachers of the classes.
What do you do away from sports?
I'm definitely into art projects. I like doing that for school especially. School is really consuming of my time right now. But to live in beautiful Colorado, I am always in the mountains somewhere.
Do you or the team have any rituals and traditions?
We wear these little ribbons on the back of our shoes. We do that every year. That's a tradition. When you look down, when you are tired or whenever, you are supposed to see the ribbon and remember we are a team. Before every game we hold this rope and lean back. That has also been a team tradition.
How does a 5-foot-7 point guard average five rebounds a game?
It is just how much you want it. You can be 6-7 and just stand under the basket, but a little guard like me can go in and want the basketball. It's just how much you desire and want the basketball and want to work for it. My speed is definitely an advantage underneath the basket.
How hard is it to get steals without fouling?
I had to learn that my freshman year. I had a lot of fouls then, more than I do this year. I realized it is not about reaching because that's just bailing the offensive player out. It's more of being in their face and being in their way to make them make the turnover and not you causing it.
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