McIntosh takes different route to next level

McKenzie McIntosh recently signed a commitment to attend Penn State-Beaver to play women’s basketball.

McKenzie McIntosh took an under-the-radar approach to her basketball career as she made her way toward a commitment to the Penn State University-Beaver campus in Monaca, Pa., in the spring.

McIntosh lives in Uniontown and graduated second in her class with a 3.99 grade-point average from the online school of Pacific Northwest Connections Academy this year, after spending her freshman and a part of her sophomore year at Pullman High School.

Including the 10 offers McIntosh got for basketball, she also was offered a scholarship to join the rowing team at Oregon State. Instead, she will be joining the Nittany Lions, who play in the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.

McIntosh, who leaves for school in August and plans to study kinesiology and nursing, garnered most of her exposure in basketball through a local 17U AAU program coached by her father, Brandon McIntosh, who also is the coach of the Potlatch High School girls’ team.

McKenzie, 18, played for Pullman her first two years of school, then played point guard for the Rolling Hills Rebels after she transferred to Northwest Connections.

She often made drives out to Potlatch and Genesee where practices were conducted by Brandon. The team was made up of players from all around the area, and the group would compete in tournaments in Spokane on the weekends.

“The goal was to keep it relatively cheap for the kids who wanted to play from around our area,” Brandon McIntosh said. “Keep it local and with not a whole lot of travel for people.”

The team also included former Genesee High School standouts Bailey Leseman and Claira Osborne, who each are on their way to play at the collegiate level.

“She’s had an idea and a plan for what she wanted to do,” Brandon McIntosh said. “I think that’s the amazing about her. Its more than basketball for her. She puts together workouts for herself.”

“She’s watched our games (at Potlatch), and it’s funny … I would get little messages later about the game. It’s great for her as a student of the game. And she did it 99 percent on her own. She was very driven towards it.”

McKenzie’s attention to detail is part of what she feels makes her stand out on the court as a playmaker.

“I think I’m more of a distributor to the core,” she said. “My game is based on finding the open people on the court, finding open space. I love to get other people involved.”

With the signing, McKenzie became the 10th player from her AAU team to commit to a college program for basketball.

Wiederspohn may be contacted at ewiederspohn@lmtribune.com, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @Evannnw.

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