Finishing second in the district, the Lufkin girls' basketball team is now gearing up for the playoffs. However, for Natasha Mack, she has some bigger things to keep in mind.
Standing well over 6' 3'', she's hard to miss on the court while grabbing national attention.
Mack has received countless collegiate offers from across the country, and her head coach Harold Scroggins said this is just the beginning for her.
When asked if she's been challenged, Mack simply replied, “No, there's nobody on my level. I just turn around and shoot it.”
She's been her district's worse nightmare and now will be a concern for teams across the state as they enter the postseason. Scroggins said Mack easily averaged eight blocks, 17 points and 12 rebounds per game this season.
“Everybody knows about her so they're doubling, some teams have even tried to triple-team her,” said Scroggins.
While she has all the accomplishments any athlete could want in their young career, she's still searching for one thing.
“I'm looking for a challenge,” said Mack.
Her biggest challenge for now, is just picking a school.
After being offered by almost every program in the Big 12 including Kansas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU, she's also been offered from LSU, Georgia, and Louisville. That is just naming a few.
She's managed to narrow it down to six she's got her eye on.
At this time she's looking to pick between Florida, West Virginia, Texas, Texas A&M, Houston and potentially staying right here in the Pineywoods at Stephen F. Austin.
“It's overwhelming, it's kind of a lot. It was fun at first, but now I'm kind of trying to concentrate on basketball,” said Mack.
For now, she has time to do just that.
Only a junior she still has another year with the Pack, and that's more time to hone in on her craft before playing on the big stage.
“Having her with the way she can block shots, to think we're going to have her again next year is kind of scary,” said Scroggins. “We had our district meeting last night and a lot of those coaches said the same thing. They can't believe she's just a junior. It's scary for our opponents, no doubt, but a blessing for us.”
Mack said she knows it will be much harder playing at the next level, and she's training all she can now to prepare herself as much as possible. There can understandably be a lot of emotions when trying to fathom what playing in college will be like, but fear is not one of those emotions for Mack.
“Nope. Not at all. I know I can do it,” said Mack.
Mack and her Lady Panthers will be taking on Hallsville, Monday for their first playoff game. They'll be in Tenaha starting at 7 p.m.
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