Menalito’s Journey

Kelsey Gullick, Contributing Editor

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Menalito McGee, first-year varsity player, started his sophomore year off to a great start with 22 points against East Kentwood. As a freshman, he was pulled up to JV and as a sophomore, he was pulled up to varsity. “Hard work pays off” is what he accomplished because every day this summer he was in the gym working on his grind.
This sophomore says, “it’s an honor, I had to step up and prove myself this year.” He also had to practice a lot on his own time. Coach VanderKlay saw his potential and gave him a chance to shine on a great varsity team. Hard work has given him the challenge that has given him the ability to maintain this spot. “Pressure” is the main thing that is put on him when he was given this spot. As well as, the pace being faster and the mentality being more challenging. However, as you can see he hasn’t had a hard time proving himself. His plan this year; to be focused, locked in, and to fight hard for every dub. As the season began, there were a few injuries such as, starter Jovaun Jones, and a transfer student, Payton Harley, the team began with three seniors and two sophomores. Menalito explained how their team chemistry and great bonds lead their team undefeated so far. McGee had seix three-pointers and great defense against East Kentwood.

Two skills he says are his best, would be shooting and dribbling. He begins by talking about how performing drills after drills have completed this statement. It all takes hard work and dedication. As people go to the games they say he has great vision too. Many assists are made by this guard and his game has really improved over the course of his lifetime.
His sister and brother both play for varsity teams. As Mito follows in his older sister’s footsteps, he plans to “be better than that.” She is very talented and he would like to prove himself because his parents have high standards that he tries to achieve. By having an absurd amount of support, since the third grade, this helps him achieve his team goals and his inside set goals. Even though it is a little early, he doesn’t have colleges in mind and he just wants to take the sport “as far as he can.”

There was no game this Tuesday so he was in the gym preparing for Kenowa on Friday. Before each game, you’ll see this player working on his grind in the gym. There’s a rationale for this. “I don’t get scared I just get very nervous depending on the team we play that specific game.” He talks about the skills he has maintained before every game in order to perform to the best of his ability. Lock in, get in game mode, listen to music, study, and watch film are all of the key aspects he has learned will give him a great mindset before each competition.

For Friday’s game, senior, Grant Nabors, and McGee have one mindset; “who is Kenowa?” With all jokes aside, their mentality is going to be “play hard and reach for the win.” When the seven seniors graduate this coming June, Menalito says, “I would have to step up and be a leader, lead on and off the court, and in the classroom. I feel like w will be neutral because we have new sophomores coming in from our freshman year.” He plans for the future, another great skill this athlete has learned over the years.

Two long-term goals this player has; improvement and winning districts. As he looks ahead in the future he sees great potential in his team for districts. He also sees improvement in himself which also makes him very humble. He plans to develop throughout the entire season and hopes for many wins and great development personally and as a team.

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