Now let me tell you a story. The list of talented kids who dreams are in the graveyard reads like a who’s who. Now if you wonder how there dreams end up in a graveyard let me help you. That’s because somewhere along the way if they were talented someone started bullshitting them. Somewhere along the way someone gave them a pass. They didn’t have to pay for training. They were made promises and treated different. They weren’t held accountable and of course not given truth. It’s an old story that is told every day and it’s not changing. But some kids figure it out and understand nothing big comes without a price. Mackenzie Teevan is big and is paying the price.
Last spring Holmdel’s Mackenzie Teevan, made a decision. She gave up track and volleyball to make a commitment to basketball. I really didn’t know Mackenzie at that time. I told her at 6’4” she could be very good at the game, if she was willing to work. I also told she was not ready to take on highly competitive basketball. I told her she was in a weak AAU environment and that high school program was nowhere near elite status. I told she was surrounded by people who like basketball but not committed. But she insisted that she was going to make every sacrifice a kid could make. Mackenzie Teevan has kept her word.
Last summer Mackenzie Teevan played for the HGSL U17 Shoreshots, a team that gets massive exposure. When the summer ended she had D1 and P5 offers. She had elite AAU organizations trying to recruit her. I told her “you not very good. You’re just a really tall white girl and that’s it”. I told her coaches are recruiting you because you’re tall. I told her she had work to do and that exactly what she has done ever since.She has put work in.
When Mackenzie went on a college visit and skipped a workout. I jumped all over her and told her “no more college visits or I’m done with you”. I explained that was the feel good shit kids do that has zero to do with her development. So she listened. She lived in the gym and developed a sky hook that is devastating. She worked on scoring in the post. She played and trained against P5 players. She trained 6 days a week and watched film everyday for a hour. She did all this without talking, making excuses or complaining. She did all that was asked of her while adding everything she learned to her 6’4” frame. In other words there was no bullshit surrounding her only truth.
This season her high school coaches decided there were some things they wanted Mackenzie Teevan to do and not to do. I explained that her high school coach is who she must follow. But that she still needed to watch film and get her post work in during the season. So that is exactly what she did. I told her talk to college coaches but no visit’s or distractions. No posting offers on social media. I told Mackenzie, just be focused on one thing becoming a better player. She said okay and Mackenzie Teevan has kept her word. She has become a better player. In fact Mackenzie Teevan is the most dominant post player in the Shore Conference these days and has backed it up with her performances against the best. She is dripping with confidence and swag. She plays with energy and thick skin. That’s because when you pay the price, nothing can break you. Mackenzie Teevan has paid the price.
I told Mackenzie Teevan last fall “ you can’t not play P5, shit I am not sure you can help a low D1 school”. I said it and I meant those words. But that’s because I didn’t fully understand that Mackenzie Teevan had a work ethic from the heavens. I didn’t know she LOVES TO BE COACHED HARD. I didn’t know her parents don’t baby her. That she loves competition. But above all I didn’t know how trusting she is…She trusts that all her work will lead to something great. Last night something great happened. Last night we got a full glimpse of what is coming down the track. A force of nature like we have not seen in years. A player that just may be unstoppable one day. A player that is capable of dominating at every single level of the game. Yesterday we saw something different.
As I walked out the gym last night after Ocean and Holmdel played. A college coach grabbed me and said “Tiny is really that good “ I said “NO she is better”. She laughed but I was dead serious. I explained to her, she has only been playing basketball serious for a year. I explained she was not ruined by the AAU process. She was not a pain in the ass, jumping from team to team, trainer to trainer. I explained coming late to the game was a blessing because she didn’t get the horseshit coaching, the games every weekend and therefore wasn’t spoiled early. She never had to deal with all the nonsense most talented kids have to deal with. She didn’t have to grow up early. MACKENZIE TEEVAN is growing up now right before our eyes.
Last night Mackenzie Teevan took it to an entire different level against Ocean. She made her rock star performances against state ranked St. Rose, Manasquan look like a walk in the park. She knocked down 25 ft jumpers. She had EXPLOSIVE POWERFUL DROP STEPS to the rim. She flashed her turn around jumper. She ran the floor like the wind. She screamed when her teammates made shots. She threw Holmdel on her back and said let’s go for a little joy ride tonight and she did it with ease. Her 27 points and 9 rebounds were impressive. But it’s how she did it that was mind blowing. She was insanely efficient. She missed 4 shots by my count while being triple teamed the entire night. More importantly, she was comfortable being great because that is what she has come to expect from herself.
Now as I sat next to a AAU coach on the recruiting trail. He said “that kid can play anywhere at that size with those skills”. I said “ well how about we just let her play good in high school for now”. There were Ivy League schools watching, D1 schools watching Mackenzie last night. That’s the norm these days. So I called her after the game. First I said you played like crap… I was joking. But then I told her there was one time she should have used her hook. A college coach had said, boy if she had the hook in her package. I said she does have the hook. You’ll see it in the spring and it’s devastating. You see most coaches haven’t even seen all that is in Mackenzie Teevan’s bag. I can tell you it’s s a bag with lots of tools in it
I told Mackenzie Teevan a year ago, you not very good. I told her parents she has a long way to go. I told a P5 coach who offered her “you guys going to get your ass fired” I meant every word. That is until now. Folks Mackenzie Teevan can play anywhere that hell she wants right now. That’s because she is that good and getting better to think she is just a junior is mind boggling. Now the key is what happens when the snakes start rolling in and they’re coming… TRUST ME! THAT’S WHEN WERE GOING TO LEARN ABOUT EGO AND DISTRACTIONS…. I say Mackenzie will be just fine!