A force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court

Photo courtesy of Tarleton Athletics
Mackenzie Hailey athlete headshot

Mackenzie Hailey, a 6-foot-2 junior forward from Burleson, Texas,  has consistently proved herself as a crucial all-around player on both ends of the court for the Tarleton State University TexAnns. Hailey joined the TexAnns after a season at the University of Texas-Arlington. While at UTA, she only played in six games due to an injury ridden true freshman season.  

Hailey ended up having some nerve damage in her knee which was addressed with a scope operation. As a result of her injuries, Hailey was granted a medical redshirt allowing her a “second” sophomore season. In her first season with the TexAnns Hailey was voted Lone Star Conference (LSC) Newcomer of the Year and was named to the Second Team All-LSC. Hailey was also awarded with an LSC Offensive Player of the Week award and was named the team’s offensive MVP and outstanding rebounder. Her outstanding game helped the TexAnns capture its second LSC Tournament Championship in 2018. 

Her second season as a TexAnn was just as impressive as she was named the team’s MVP, was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American Honorable Mention Team, Second-team D2CCA All Region, First Team All LSC, All LSC Defensive Team and was the two-time LSC defensive player of the week. With her 31 starts and a total of 448 points and 222 rebounds she helped lead the TexAnns back to the NCAA Regional Tournament. 

Hailey’s first love in sports was softball. She played both basketball and softball beginning in the third grade. After her freshman year of high school, Hailey felt that she had developed more of a love and a passion for basketball, so she quit playing softball and decided to focus on basketball. Throughout multiple sports, she had many different coaches through the different sports that she played growing up and in high school. 

As a child, she only had 2 AAU coaches, one of them had a huge influence on her game “one of my AAU coaches, Vance Hughes, had a big influence on my game. He helped me understand the importance of working as a team,” said Hailey.

Off the court, you can find Hailey with her nose in a book. Originally, she had planned to become an occupational therapist after graduation. However, between her passion for reading and her passion for basketball she has decided to use her kinesiology degree in the direction of coaching and teaching. She will also graduate with a minor in English which will allow her to be a freshman English teacher. 

Hailey feels that the depth and talent on the team shows great promise for the season. 

“I think we will be a pretty hard team to compete with and can go far this year,” said Hailey. 

The goals she has set for the team this year is to win the Lone Star Conference and to also improve on the second-place finish they had in the conference tournament last year and win it.  Personally, she is focused on her mentality this season. 

“I am very hard on myself and when I make a mistake it’s hard for me to let it go because I expect so much out of myself, so I would say I need to work on moving forward without letting the past affecting me,” said Hailey.