The 6-foot-1 Mackenzie Horst played two seasons with the Junior Heat program                                - Image: UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

The 6-foot-1 Mackenzie Horst played two seasons with the Junior Heat program - Image: UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

Vernon’s Horst to join Heat in 2018

Vernon Panthers senior to bring size to UBC Okanagan women’s basketball

Vernon’s Mackenzie Horst will add some much-needed size to the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball program for the 2018-19 Canada West season.

The 6-foot-1 post player from Vernon Secondary School brings an extensive resume to the post-secondary level, having played two years with the Junior Heat program and three seasons with Basketball BC.

Horst placed second at the 2014 B.C. Summer Games, and played on the national stage at the 2017 Canada Summer Games as part of Basketball BC’s U17 squad.

With her high school teams in Vernon, Mackenzie has been on the podium three years in a row at the provincial tournament.

Last season, she was named the top Grade 11 female athlete at VSS, and was a second team all-star as her Panthers earned a provincial silver medal.

At UBC Okanagan, Horst plans to go into nursing, a program she said is a primary reason for choosing the Kelowna campus.

Horst also credits the Heat basketball program and the closeness of the UBCO campus to home for making the decision easier.

“I am so fortunate to be able to study my degree and play the sport I love in such an incredibly environment,” said an excited Horst, looking forward to next season. “I’m ready to contribute my all to this team and I can’t wait to play with the women in the fall of 2018.”

With Horst playing in Vernon and with the Junior Heat program, UBCO head coach Claire Meadows had plenty of opportunity to scout the Vernon forward.

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Mac develop over the last few years into one of the top forwards in the province,” said Meadows. “She will add some needed size to our roster and will have an immediate presence at both ends of the court.

“Mac is naturally talented but I think it’s important to note the immense amount of work that she has put into her development. She is always in the gym working to get better.”

Mackenzie and CEGEP graduate Emma Huff are the two recruits so far signed for next fall to the Heat women’s basketball program.

Horst will join a growing list of players from Vernon who have played Junior Heat and moved on to the varsity squad in the past few years, including Jordan Korol, Jordyn Cullum and Brianna Falk.

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