Video: McKenzie Hahn highlights
Watch the senior guard in action as part of a two-year stint in which every point she scored raised money for Alzheimer's research.Orange Grove (Texas)
senior basketball and softball standout McKenzie Hahn
recalls pedaling out in the country after school to her grandmother's home, lugging books and school supplies.
"She always made me do my homework and chores right away," Hahn said. "Everything I learned about hard work and responsibility comes from grandma."
The hard work and good habits have paid off.
Hahn is a straight-A student who is scheduled to attend Texas A&M next fall and study engineering. The spunky and skilled 5-foot-4 point guard was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and according to her coach Jeff Huber, finished as the school's record-holder in scoring, 3-pointers, free throws, assists, steals and deflections.
She's also the top hitter and four-year starting shortstop on the softball team as well.
"If I had to define McKenzie, I'd have to say she's basically the perfect kid," said Huber, who has coached 27 years at Orange Grove, located near Corpus Christi. "I think if you went on Webster's Dictionary and looked up those two words you'd see her picture."
So it wasn't surprising to Huber when Hahn embarked upon a greater purpose for shooting a ball through a hoop.
For every point Hahn scored her junior and senior seasons, she raised money and awareness for Alzheimer's disease, an ailment her dear grandmother has been afflicted with for several years. During her 90-game varsity career, she scored 1,270 points (14.1 average), including 181 three-pointers. She also averaged 3.7 assists and 4.7 steals per game. She scored 532 points during a record-breaking 31-6 senior season.
Between pledges for her scoring and selling T-shirts and bracelets, Hahn has raised close to $5,000 toward the Alzheimer's Association's Hoops For a Cure program.
Huber said Hahn didn't shoot any more because of the fund-raiser. Quite the opposite.
"McKenzie has always been an unselfish player, someone who simply cares about the greater good," Huber said. "Some nights we needed her to drop 30 and she would, and the next game she' d have five points and 10 assists.
"I've teased her since day one of being in the program, that she's such a good shooter I want her to shoot so much her right arm falls off. Well, she still has it, so she didn't shoot quite enough."
Hahn said she didn't shoot more, "but every shot I took I think I focused a little harder to make it."
Focus and recalling are traits her grandmother has difficulty doing now due to the Alzheimer's, which is a growing, mysterious chronic neurodegenerative disease tied to dementia. Approximately 50 million worldwide are afflicted.
"It hasn't been easy to watch and when I was younger it was hard to understand," Hahn said. "That's why I want people to learn more and maybe someday soon we can find a cure. That's my hope anyway."
To learn more about Hahn's cause, go to her Facebook page Hoops For A Cure or make checks to "Hoops For a Cure," and send to P.O. Box 1473, Orange Grove, Texas, 78372.