MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Girls’ Basketball Tournament begins Wednesday.
One team with a shot at bringing home a championship is Park Center High School, including standout player Adalia McKenzie, whose future just keeps getting brighter.
“I remember when I first started playing, compared to now, I was so bad,” McKenzie said.
She has grown, considerably.
“I make a mistake, I let it go,” McKenzie said.
Teammate Aaliyah Ragulen says she’s an inspiration in terms of her skill, and the support she gives her fellow players.
“She hustles on offense and defense, and she’s always looking to encourage you if you make a mistake. She tells you to keep your head up,” Ragulen said.
The junior has embraced leadership, and scoring, a lot.
“I just want to do whatever it takes to win, and if scoring is a part of winning, then I want to do that,” McKenzie said.
He player development brings her game more in line with how she is in real life, which is versatile and multi-dimensional. She has a lot of interests outside of basketball.
“I’ve thought of journalism, or I’ve thought about like going into the helping field, like doing social work,” she said. “I like marine biology, so I’ve thought about being a marine biologist. So I have a lot of options.
Speaking of options, she’s got a little advice from a teammate on college recruitment.
“I committed to a [junior college] in Iowa called [North Iowa Area Community College]. I’m really excited to play there,” Ragulen said. “A lot of people are really set on going to a big [division one] school, but you want to go somewhere that fits your style as a player, that’s going to make you better … somewhere you’re going to play a lot … don’t focus on a name too much, but somewhere that makes you comfortable.”
Goals and dreams start by knowing where you came from.
“Whatever college I want to go to, like, I want to do great,” McKenzie said. “[I want to] make history at that college. But I also want to go to the league and play in the WNBA. That’s always been a dream for you.”