WATERFORD — Mackenzie Suprano, 17, is a senior at Waterford High School.
Throughout her high school career, Suprano has been very active in school and the community.
She has attended the Little Hocking Church of Christ for 17 years, played on her school’s varsity basketball team and Volleyball team for four years, played varsity softball for three years, she has played on both the 740 Thunder and the Swarm travel basketball teams for two years, served on the FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team for four years and has been active in a number of clubs and organizations.
“Being active in so many groups, it’s hard to pick which activity I enjoy the most, because they all bring something different to the table,” she said. “… but I would have to say what I love most about all the activities is meeting all the new people, and being able to build lasting relationships and memories with them.”
Suprano said that however, one of her coolest experiences was when she and her basketball team made it to state.
“My teammates and I had watched the 2018 class, who we looked up to, make it to state four years in a row, and we wanted to do the same,” she said. “It was an amazing feeling when we finally did it last year!”
Suprano said another big moment for her was winning the “Run For the Roses” Tournament held in Louisville, Ky., with her travel tournament team.
“It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the nation,” she said. “We played against some of the best teams from many other states, and it is still hard to believe that me and other girls from our area were able to win it … It is amazing what we can do when we all work together as a team.”
Suprano attributed much of who she is now and growing to be to basketball.
“Basketball has taught me so much,” she said. “It has taught me to work hard, be committed, build new friendships, never give up, accomplish goals, and stay humble.”
Suprano said these are lessons she works diligently every day to apply to her daily life.
“I want to be the best person I can be and set an example for others,” she said.
Over the past three years of high school, she has been a team captain.
“As a team leader, an opportunity that granted me the privilege of serving my team, I have ensured our team works together, and I help to work out disagreements if they occur,” she said.
After suffering three major injuries, Suprano said she used the lessons learned to drive herself to recover as soon as possible.
“I wanted to be on the court again doing what I love to do the most,” she said. “And I came back stronger than ever, and able to help my basketball team make it to the State Final Four last year.”
Suprano is currently taking online college classes through Washington State Community College, and following the Fall of 2022, she will receive a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy.
She plans to continuing her athletic career in basketball while in college.
“I want to thank my parents and family, church friends, coaches, and club advisors, who have helped me along the way to make me the person I am today,” she said.
Following her degree, Suprano said she plans to continue her education and earn a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. She was inspired to pursue that route after high school, after she had to attend therapy sessions for her own sports related injuries.
“I dreaded attending the first few sessions because I felt like the physical therapist caused me more pain, but the pain lessened after a few sessions and I felt my body healing and getting stronger,” she said. “I started enjoying the therapy sessions and became intrigued with the treatments the physical therapist planned for me and other patients around me.”
Suprano said that by watching the physical therapist and her team, she saw the passion they showed toward every patient, no matter how grumpy the patient might be.
“They were always there to encourage, support, and give extra guidance when needed … they put smiles on faces but also made sweat roll down the sides of patients’ faces,” she said. “The physical therapists just want to improve the quality of each patient’s life, and that was the determining factor that helped me to know I want to be a physical therapist upon graduating from college.”
Suprano said she is “incredibly thankful” to the communities around her for always being so supportive and encouraging throughout the years.
“I couldn’t be more thankful and proud to live in and be a part of this community,” she said.
Madeline Scarborough can be reached at [email protected]