By CHRIS CHRISTOPHER
When Macy Brackett attempts a shot from the field, there’s a better than 50-50 chance it will hit its target–the bottom of the net.
The Neptune High School girls basketball standout rarely misses, according to her coach, John Brown, the Scarlet Fliers’ 14th-year mentor.
“She’s shooting better than 50 percent from the field,” he said. “She has become more efficient at scoring than she was last season. She is taking better shots. She is not forcing them as often. She worked on her moves and her shots. She has increased her shooting range to 15 feet. At the next level. she will have to increase her range to 20 feet. She will work on it over the summer.”
Brackett will take her often lethal shooting touch to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I ranks. The senior said she has committed to play for Grayson College in Denison, Texas, on a scholarship. She said she chose the school over Fairleigh Dickinson University and Raritan Valley Community College.
“I made my decision pretty fast,” the senior said. “I made it at the beginning of this season. I did not want to wait until the last minute and risk being out of a scholarship. At the beginning of this season, I did not know hat it had in store for me.”
The 5-foot-10 Brackett said she was recruited as a shooting guard.
“I have to work on my three-point shot,” she said. “You can’t be a guard if you can’t shoot a three. Grayson plays an up tempo style and fast just like we do. They go up and down the court and run the pick and roll. I am more of a drive and kick player. Grayson fits my style. They have everything that I need.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play college basketball. Just thinking about it makes me so happy. I remember being a kid on our front lawn thinking about this moment. I can’t believe I am here.”
Brown said Brackett will be a successful college player if she works diligently.
“It depends on how hard she works,” he said. “She will determine how well she will do by how hard she works. She could be a good Division I player in the NCAA. She could be a mid-major NCAA Division I player. She has improved on her maturity on a daily basis. I am not not at all surprised she has developed the way she has.”
Brackett will major in sports management.
“I want to be a college women’s basketball coach,” she said. “I love basketball. I love every part of it.”
Perhaps best known for her scoring prowess, Brackett takes pride in setting up her teammates for points.
“I pass the ball well,” she said. “If a teammate is open, I feel I will get her the ball where and how it needs to be there.”
Brackett has teamed with sophomore guard Amaya Evans to give the Scarlet Fliers two of the top offensive players in the Shore Conference.
“I love her,” Brackett said. “She is a great guard for her age. She does everything well. We work the pick and roll a lot. We have a connection. I know she will pass the ball to me.”
“Macy is a very big asset to the team,” Evans said. “We rely on her a lot. We will miss her a lot next season. When we are without her against the good teams, it’s very hard. She is a really good asset down low. She plays her part very well.”
Evans said Brackett is a good teammate.
“She has a very bubbling personality,” Evans said. “She is a joker. You can never ever take her seriously. She is a good person. It will be very hard to replace her next year.”
Brown said Brackett is a strong inside presence.
“Her strong points are her play in the post and her ability score in the paint,” she said. “When she is double teamed, one girl is left open. Most teams don’t play her one-on-one in the paint. She has an array of moves and is quicker than most post players. She has a spin move. She also has a face up move and a drive by move. She is a pretty good shooter. She needs to work on her three-point shot. At the next level, she will be more of a wing player. From 15 feet in, she is an efficient scorer. She knows where her strength is. She knows where her bread and butter is.”
Earlier this season, the Scarlet Fliers lost senior center Sophie Yevchak to an injury. The injury had an impact on Brackett.
“When we lost Sophie, Macy had to play center,” Brown said. “Most of the time, Macy is undersized in the post so she used her quickness against the bigger post players. Macy uses her quickness to front her opponent on defense as most of the time the other girl has the strength advantage. Macy also uses her athletic ability.”
A 165-pounder, Brackett enjoys playing under Brown’s leadership.
“I love playing for him,” she said. “He is a very stern coach who will get you ready for anything. If you can deal with him and take his criticism, you can do anything. His practices are very intense and fast. There is a lot of conditioning, a lot of up-and-down the court work. We are always on the go.
“My career has been like a roller coaster ride. During my sophomore year, I felt I was not prepared enough to play on the varsity. I have had good times and bad times.” “Macy is easy-going,” Brown said. “She is laid back.”
Brackett plays on a team that is highly respected by opponents.
“It’s an honor to play for Neptune,” she said. “There is the history of our girls basketball team. Coach Brown has accomplished so much. It’s a high standard to play here.” Brackett spent the off season working on her game at the Amateur Athletic Union level as a member of the Exodus, based in New York City. The team traveled to numerous places, including Pennsylvania, Chicago, Atlanta, Maryland and Kentucky.
“We played a lot of games, sometimes three and four per day,” she said. “It as crazy at that level. We played on every other weekend. Playing on the Exodus helped me see where I was at my grade level. I played against kids who were from around the world. They had different skill sets. I played against a lot of good bigs from around the world. It gave me a good idea of where I was in my development.”