MINNEAPOLIS (BVM) – In the first game of the season, Addi Mack accomplished a major milestone in her high school career. The Minnehaha Academy freshman reached 1,000 points scored in her career.
“It felt really good… it was a fun opportunity for me,” Mack said.
Mack may only be a freshman, but she has been playing varsity since seventh grade. First at Blake and now at Minnehaha Academy, she has been a force on the court. Although the points have been what has stood out, Mack lets the game come to her and focuses on the little things.
“Doing the little things like talking, helping my teammates know what they’re doing, calling the plays, getting good passes to people, trying to mix it up and get rebounds,” Mack said. “It (scoring) just comes to me when I’m playing so I’m not really focused on just one thing. I’m just mainly trying to do what I feel I need to do to put ourselves ahead.”
However, getting to this point has taken time and a lot of work. Mack originally was a competitive swimmer, but as she got older, she began to focus more on basketball. Then in sixth grade, she won state with her travel team and that was the turning point.
“The work I was putting in was paying off and I decided to take it more seriously,” Mack said.
Mack began training more intensely for basketball and as she dove deeper into the sport, her love for the game grew as well. That is what motivated her then and still motivates her to this day.
“For me basketball is fun,” Mack said. “I have my friends from basketball, I have my team, my teammates and just everything about it is fun. I’m lucky that the people I surround myself with also have the same passion for the game. It’s just nice to do something day after day but not get tired of it and want to keep pushing myself to get better.”
From there she made varsity at Blake and averaged 18.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.7 steals as a seventh grader. The Bears went 17-9 and Mack gained the varsity experience she needed to build off her impressive varsity debut.
“It wasn’t like an expectation for us to just go in and beat everyone so I think that kind of took a little pressure off of me to come in as a seventh grader,” Mack said.
Then last year she helped the Redhawks make it to the state tournament before losing in a close first-round matchup against Glencoe-Silver Lake. It was a tough loss for the Redhawks. They had gone up 43-32 in the first half but ended up losing 58-57. Mack and her teammates learned from that loss and this year they have been playing with purpose.
“So far I’d say everything has been going really well,” Mack said. “The teams getting along and the quality of basketball we’re putting out on the floor, I think we’re happy with that.”
Mack is a big part of that and this year is different because senior guard Charita Lewis is back from injury after missing last season. Her and Mack have become a deadly combination in the backcourt, playing off of each other.
“This year has been so nice playing with her…Playing off of each other has been so fun,” Mack said. “Obviously last year when she couldn’t play it was a little disappointing but I think that finally seeing us together on the floor, it’s been super fun.”
Mack is also playing with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. Already in her third year of varsity play, the game has begun to slow down for her. The time spent in practice, in games and her own personal training has been paying off.
“I think that the main thing for me was I put all the time in,” Mack said. “I’ve been training and with all the stuff I’ve been putting in, playing in games became easier. I can’t remember a specific game where I felt that but just me being able to control everything.”
It has shown in her play. Mack leads Minnehaha in scoring, is tied for second in assists and is third in steals. The Redhawks are setting up for another run at the state tournament and as Mack looks to the future, she is ready not only for the opportunities that will come to her but a chance to represent her
“I would say in the past couple years Minnesota basketball has really taken a step up,” Mack said. “Normally not many people think of Minnesota when they think about really good basketball states but it’s just exciting to know that me but then some other people in the state can keep representing Minnesota well and making Minnesota more of a basketball state.”
Mack was able to watch Paige Bueckers, who was one of the more recent and most notable players to come out of Minnesota.
“I got to watch her live a lot and just watching the way she carries herself and the way she plays, that will always be someone I would like to emulate,” Mack said.
Mack is ready to keep that legacy going, but above all, she just wants to be a good teammate and play the sports she loves. She knows that if she does that, everything else will work out.
“I just want to be known for being a good leader, always giving their hardest effort and just being a good person that people want to surround themselves with,” Mack said.