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By Travis Sloat

Makenzie Blackwell is a 17-year-old senior basketball forward for Verdigris High School, and she said she’s been playing the game she loves since the fourth grade.

“I love basketball because it’s been a passion of mine since I was a small child,” Blackwell said. “I like the camaraderie, competition, and teamwork required to be successful in the game.”

Success has been found for the Lady Cardinals, Blackwell said, especially this season.

“Our record is 9-2, and our morale is really good,” she said. “But we did just lose in the championship game of the Port City Classic against a solid Tahlequah team. We kept our heads high, and all have positive attitudes with the same goals in mind.”

Blackwell said that as a senior, she understands she’s in a role model position for some of the younger players, and accepts that willingly.

“I love being in that position,” she said. “It’s always good to help teammates out. I’ll always try to guide my teammates the best I can. I will help them out in practice or stay after and help them with what they need to learn. Character is everything to me, and helping teammates when they need me is how I display that. I represent off the court also by trying to be a good example for my peers.”

In her free time, Blackwell said she enjoys spending time with family and friends as much as she can. After high school, she wants to attend college and become a physical therapist. She said her favorite subject is anatomy, because she loves learning how the body functions and moves.

When it comes to shoutouts, Blackwell is right back to her favorite thing: teamwork.

“Honestly everybody brings so much to the table, it’s hard to pick out just a few players,” she said.

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