By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
About two and a half years ago, the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team got a prized recruit when then-high school sophomore McKenna Maycock verbally committed to the Bonnies.
Now, 29 months after the Randolph, N.Y. native made her decision, she will finally put on the Bona uniform and play college ball on Saturday.
The 5-foot-9 Maycock, who was offered a scholarship right on the spot by coach Jim Crowley and his staff when she visited back in 2013, grew up 40 miles away from campus. The close proximity to campus gave her plenty of opportunities to connect to the program.
Maycock had gone to the Bona women’s basketball summer camp since she was in seventh grade, played on an AAU team with senior forward Katie Healy, and played at the Reilly Center in the Cattaraugus County IAABO Holiday Basketball Tournament in each of her four years of high school. In fact, she became Western New York’s all-time leading scorer on Bob Lanier Court last December.
“It was exciting to get it on Bonaventure’s court,” Maycock told the Olean Times Herald’s Sam Wilson after the tournament. “It was a great moment for me. It added a lot to it, because that’s where I’ll be playing. It was just a neat moment. That’s where my future holds.”
The guard’s high school totals are staggering: the 2,947 points she scored in her Randolph Central career are not only the most in Western New York history but are fifth-most in state history as well. Her play earned two New York State Class C Player of the Year awards along with two selections to the all-state team.
Maycock’s high school athletic accomplishments were not limited to basketball, however; she was named the Buffalo News Prep Talk Girls Three-Sport Athlete of the Year for 2014-15 after being selected first-team All-Western New York volleyball and finishing second in the state in the 400 hurdles and being on the ninth place 4×400 relay team on the track her senior year.
Despite all the accomplishments and accolades in her illustrious high school career, Maycock just wants to get a chance at playing time and help her team win this season.
“My role will be completely different (from high school),” Maycock said. “If I get in I just want to make an impact somehow, whether it be rebounding or helping my teammates. My individual goal is just to get in at some point.”
“There’s always a big learning curve as a freshman, with the level of play and consistency,” Crowley said. “Sometimes as a freshman it’s pure survival, but we expect McKenna to go hard and make us better.”
To make the team better, Maycock will use some of the prodigious athleticism she displayed in her three-sport days.
“I think the biggest thing is my speed. Hopefully that can help me defend and maybe play on offense too,” said Maycock. “Getting rebounds is a big part of my game too; that’s the biggest thing.”
“She’s an incredible athlete, and she knows how to use that athleticism,” Crowley said. “Some people are faster or stronger but they don’t know how to use it, but McKenna does.
“What she has to continue to focus on is not to let mistakes prevent results. You learn a lot of things as a freshman, and sometimes it’s very frustrating. She’s gotta get over that, because as an athlete, she’s unmatched. That can help us every day.”
One advantage Maycock will have during her time at SBU will be the support of her family. Her parents, both former collegiate athletes themselves, will be able to attend their daughter’s games. For a freshman athlete, that’s a major plus.
“I think it’s awesome because I could be in the game and look up and see my family there,” Maycock said. “They’ll be there cheering me on and giving me a thumbs up even if I make a mistake, so that’s awesome knowing I’ll have support no matter what.”
Maycock is still confident that the decision she made at 15 to come to Bonaventure was the right one.
“Honestly, it’s better than I expected,” she said. “I knew I loved the campus and atmosphere, but ever since I got here it’s better than I imagined, actually.
“I love the community and the family feeling, and I love the small classrooms; that’s a really big part for me because I like the relationships with my teachers. The people here are just great.”