Josie Mackie

Josie Mackie

WolfPack women’s basketball sign Cranbrook’s Josie Mackie

For the Townsman

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack have gone to the East Kootenay for their latest recruit. Head coach Goran Nogic and the WolfPack are pleased to announce their fourth recruit for the 2020-21 Canada West women’s basketball season.

Joining the program and attending Thompson Rivers University is 6’3” centre Josie Mackie. Mackie will be graduating this spring from Mount Baker Secondary school in Cranbrook, BC.

“I chose TRU because I wanted to play a higher level of basketball and my previous coach thought it would be a very good fit for me,” says Mackie who will take courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Thompson Rivers. Her long-term goal is to go into the Bachelors of Education program.

“After talking to Coach Nogic, I agreed to come and I am very excited to start.”

Mackie isn’t playing club basketball this year because of COVID 19. In the past, she was involved in the Rockies basketball program.

Her Mount Baker high school team won four tournaments finishing in the top three of each of them. The tournaments were in Alberta due to geographical location (Cranbrook being closer to Alberta and many BC cities). Mount Baker finished 11th at the 2019-20 BC high school championships. They went 27-7 in regular season and were 2-2 at the provincials losing by one point to South Burnaby who won the consolation final.

Mackie is enthusiastic about being a part of the WolfPack’s rebuild program. “I am very excited to be part of the rebuild. Playing the next level of basketball has always been one of my goals so I am very excited to play at TRU. I know that in order to get floor time, I will have to work very hard. The tempo of the game is faster so I will have to work on getting used to that as well as continuing to develop my skills and strength.”

Mackie was contemplating going to either the University of Lethbridge or her hometown College of the Rockies (PACWEST) before deciding to come to Kamloops.

Her club coach the last three years with the Rockies program and her high school team (Mount Baker Wild) was Alan Nutini. “ Josie was a leader on the floor both in terms of her play and her support of her teammates. Off the floor, she kept it ‘light’ with her teammates. She was connected to the young players and used her sense of humor to bring levity to the team.”

Nutini says Mackie’s strengths are a strong first step and attacking the hoops along with being a good shooter. “Over the last three years, her physicality grew,” he said. “ I regularly challenged her to not shy away from contact. Although she is 6’3”, she had to build her strength. “

He adds, “ Her strength is a constant growth area and will continue to be important as she takes the next step to University basketball. Her height has been to her advantage through high school but she will need to improve her small details to win battles at the next level. Her mental toughness (confidence) will also need to grow as she faces more adversity.”

Mackie is looking forward to being a part of the WolfPack’s community initiatives. “I love spending time with younger kids so I am very excited to be a role model for younger players. Previously I have coached basketball camps for younger kids, this fall I hosted one on my own. I find working with kids to be very rewarding and fun so I am excited to continue that.”

She adds, “I am very excited to meet my new teammates and make new memories with them.”

Says coach Nogic about his latest signing, ““We are happy Josie is becoming a part of our program because of her huge potential. She has everything what great basketball player should have: extremely humble person with great work ethic, high basketball IQ, good athleticism (6’3 player with very unusual mobility and coordination), and most important she is player with over average mental resilience. I am sure she will make difference for our program and be great complement to the roster we prepare for the next season(s)”

Other announced women’s basketball recruits for the coming season are Ryann Lee (5’7”, guard, Calgary, AB-Edge Prep/Vision Basketball), Carley Smigel (6’0” Post, Saint Mary’s High School/Vision Basketball), and Kyla Smith (5’6” guard, Abbotsford, BC-Mennonite Educational Institute/Whatcom Community College (NWAC).