Dominance. That has been the word that comes to mind when talking about Naperville North girls basketball going back to 2019 when coach Erin Colletti was hired for the job. She’s had many talented players come through the program, including former All State forward Greta Kampschroeder, who graduated in 2021. Fortunately for coach Colletti, another Division I talent was on her way. Enter Mackenzie Hare. The senior transferred to North after playing her first three seasons at Bartlett where she averaged 30 points per game her junior year. Find out more about Mackenzie in this Player Profile, presented by LifeStance Health.
Mackenzie Hare: “As a family, we just moved here and it happened to be in Naperville North’s territory. It worked out perfectly. I love this program, I love this school, it’s been great for me and my twin brother. We love it. We have a lot of Huskie spirit.”
Needless to say, Mackenzie Hare has delivered in every way for the Huskies. She’s been scoring the ball with ease putting up multiple 30-point games. She’s also been a great playmaker, playing terrific defense, making hustle plays, and being a tremendous leader for her team. She was the Montini Holiday Tournament MVP in December and was recently named a McDonald’s All-American nominee. She has also eclipsed 2,000 points in her high school career. All of that has helped propel North to a 22-2 record, 6-0 in the DVC, and a 10-game winning streak.
Coach Erin Colletti: “Her scoring is phenomenal. I mean she’s averaging in the mid-20’s, I think at least. And so her ability to obviously give us offensive production is extremely valuable. She’s a selfless player too.That when she’s got two on her, she’s going to find the open girl. The energy that our team gets off of her dropping dimes and giving dishes to people, it ignites us.”
Going into this season, the team was hoping to make up for the loss of Kampschroeder, the former McDonald’s All American who went to play basketball for Oregon State. The Huskies have done just that with Hare on the squad and she’s not only been comfortable on the court, but with her teammates as well.
Hare: “We hang out all the time. I mean after practices we hang out, after games. We’re just always together and to have that kind of atmosphere to where we’re so comfortable with each other, it’s a great culture and I think it kind of shows on the floor too. We love passing the ball.”
Colletti: “Everybody knows is an amazing skilled basketball player, but what I constantly say is like, ‘Yeah everybody knows that, but not everybody knows Kenzie off the court.’ Her contagious positive energy and smile that you can obviously see is just so great to have on your team.”
Hare and teammate Sarah Crossett knew each other prior to this season back when they played for M14Hoops’ AAU team in Aurora, which included Benet’s Lenee Beaumont.
Hare: “I love playing with Sarah. She’s a great teammate, I love playing pick and rolls with her. Just getting her the ball and feeding her in the post. It’s awesome.”
Sarah Crossett: “I love her energy and how she’s always competing. Like being with her the whole summer, training with her in the fall, and then playing with her this season. It’s the best. She’s one of my best friends too so it’s fun to be at school together, but then be serious on the court and find success there. So, it’s so fun.”
Coaches and players call Hare by her nickname “Cheese.” She got it back when she played at Bartlett.
Hare: “It’s kind of caught on. I mean I hear it in the hallways all the time too. So, I like it. It’s kind of a fun nickname.”
Cheese verbally committed to Saint Louis University back in 2020, and she will be headed there to play Division I basketball for the Billikens after this season. But, in the meantime, the senior still has goals that she hopes to accomplish with these Huskies.
Hare: “We have big goals of going to state, winning state. So, we kind of just work at that every single day. Continue to get better in practice, continue to improve each day. So, that’s our biggest goal.”
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Josiah Schueneman.