Players Court: Natasha Mack of Oklahoma State University
Senior forward Natasha Mack is in a busy season in Oklahoma. When leading the Cowgirl to a 12-5 record, she averaged 19 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.18 blocks per game for the best I-level. Last month, she became the second player in program history to get a triple-double with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks. She also had 6 steals and 3 assists. Mark has been selected to the watch list for the Katrina McLean Award, the Naismith Award and the Naismith Award for Defensive Player of the Year.
Mack was born in Lufkin, Texas, and is a four-star high school student. Before her senior year in 2015, she briefly left the game because she lost her love for the game, but finally decided to return to her final preparation season. She signed with the University of Houston, but as soon as she got there she realized it was inappropriate, so she left the game forever. When Mike returned home, she worked at Pride, where she handled poultry.
The following summer, she was discovered by Randy McKelvey, an assistant coach at Rufkin Angelina College. He eventually invited her to play for Roadrunners, but she was not interested in it. When Mack changed his mind and called him, McKelvey moved on. He came to her workplace, where she signed a scholarship invitation during her break, and within a week, she was transferred to the dormitory there. She became the first Angelina (Angelina) to win the status of the national first-line team, and was nominated as the NJCAA and WBCA player of the year. Mike broke the school’s historical scoring record and became the champion of the American college student rankings with a score of 180.
When Mike visited the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, he immediately fell in love with the program and the community. After experiencing a great junior high school season after the COVID-19 pandemic, she trained hard with her brother in the spring and summer, preparing to return. Her goals include winning 12 major tournaments, making great progress in the NCAA tournament, and being selected to the WNBA.
Let’s go back to the first basketball game between junior high school and high school. What caused you to lose your love for the game at that time, and what made you decide to play?
I thought I was exhausted from basketball. I was chatting again, and then I started playing again, and I thought: “I can do it.”
When does the line become burnout?
Between junior and junior, I was like, uh. At that time I thought I was done. I fell in love with this game, fell in love with this game, and then fell in love with this game, and I have been in love with this game ever since.
Is it your unremitting efforts throughout the year?
Then you wholeheartedly sign up to play in Houston, and when you realize that this is not for you, you get rid of the sport that was once regarded as the favorite of your life. It takes some persuasiveness to bring you back. What made you finally decide to return?
Coach Randy McKelvey. He had helped me before and I told him no, he said yes. So after a few days, I was thinking, do I really want to work in a chicken farm? I thought no, I hit him. He came to me to rest the next day, and I signed the paper.
What is your major?
I am studying business.
So after the WNBA, do you want to do business?
I want to coach. I have wanted to be a coach since high school.
What level of coach?
University level or higher.
The burnout is over for you, or do you think it might return at some point?
I think this is over for me. I will wait until my body can no longer move. We can do it now.
Is happiness the difference between free will and being forced to do something?
Yes, I am really happy (basketball) and excited about it. I look forward to practicing; this is an opportunity to improve my game and help my teammates.
So has the cowgirl approach been ignited?
Oh yeah. The coach (Jim Little) is a good guy. I like his old jokes.
You come from a sports family and have loved basketball since childhood. Compared with other sports, what is the sport that attracts you? Why do you love it so much?
I am taller than others. I easily put the ball in the basket.
Therefore, you have a natural advantage.
Yes, it will make me happy.
This is the first time you feel that sense of accomplishment.
Did you play a lot of catching when you were a kid?
Oh yes, I basically live in the park. I have an older brother who is three years older than me. If he goes to the park, I will be behind him.
That’s where some of the best basketball happens.
They do not call fouls, so you are used to it. When I am hit, I still score. If I miss it, I will go back to defense.
What or sports do you like most in basketball? What are you best at?
I took a shot. It was an upward object. I dribbled the ball to the right, and then I shot, almost every time. I think I have mastered that part of the game, and now I need a counter because other teams are starting to figure this out.
How much did you plan for your game before the game?
I have been thinking about it, just like after the game and before eating, I go back to the movies. I was thinking, “Let me do it.”
Therefore, you are indeed a student of games.
What is special about Oklahoma and the Stillwater community for you?
I got a lot of energy from here-everyone is very friendly and kind. I like it. I am a happy person, and it is better when everyone around me is happy.
What is your favorite basketball memory so far?
That was last year after Bedlam. We just poured this ice water on the coach, it was amazing.
Those duels are serious.
I didn’t know how serious this was until I came here. My first Bedlam and I were thinking around and it was serious!
You want to participate in WNBA. Do you have specific goals when playing professional games?
I want to join the league, I want to stay there and want to be respected. Because rookies don’t really get this kind of respect.
Is anyone in the game you searched for?
Kevin Durant (Kevin Durant) and Elena Dell (Elena Delle Donne). I like her playing style, personality, ability to get in and out of the post, especially her four pole position.
Do you think you are working hard? Including condition wise?
Oh yes. I may complain a little, but it will be resolved. No matter what I want to do, it will be done.
Do you want to go overseas?
Yes, I really want to go overseas.
Are you a person, a lonely person, or someone in between?
Depending on my mood, we can both. But I am a people, a social butterfly. I chat everywhere. But sometimes I am going to be alone. Maybe watch Netflix.
Will you be one of those alumni returning to school?
Oh yes, absolutely.
If you could do whatever you want with complete freedom one day, what would you do?
I might take some pictures and take an ice bath.
What kind of music do you like best?
I like R&B. It is the best music genre in the early 2000s or this generation. My favorite artist is J Cole. It’s also summer Walker. Have you heard of Shay?
Yes, you just reminded me to check out him.
If you could tell your young self, what would it be?
I will say, take your time, don’t worry. You will grow up soon.
You have experienced an unconventional journey. Any regrets?
I actually have no regrets. Everything is for a reason. If it were not for this reason, I would not be here now.
Enjoy every minute, right?
If you want, you can come back next year. Don’t you want to come back?
(Shakes his head) I want to seize the opportunity.
This post is written by Sue Favor