Edwardsville senior hoops star aims to end high school years with state title
Everything in Makenzie Silvey's high school basketball career has had a logical upward arc so far.
Her scoring, rebounding and assist averages increased from her sophomore season to her junior year at Edwardsville High School, as did her 3-point total. With that came a promotion up the All-State lists.
There still is some progression to do before Silvey, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, takes her game to Southern Illinois next fall: a state championship.
“The ultimate goal is to win state, but we just want to focus on winning each game,” Silvey told the Metro East Sun.
So far, so good on that focus. The Tigers won their first four games of the season through Nov. 30, winning three of those games by at least 31 points. Edwardsville entered this season seeking to get past the super-sectional round and into the state semifinals.
Silvey said basketball started for her in the third grade, when she was coached by her father, Jeff, in her church league.
“I just remember having my dad coach me and just, like, teach me all the fundamentals and just, like, really enjoying it,” she said.
That connection remains today, as her dad is her coach on the AAU team Blue Star St. Louis.
At Edwardsville, after earning a varsity letter as a freshman, Silvey announced her presence in her sophomore season. She was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class 4A All-State Second team, as well as earning All-State Honorable Mention from the Associated Press, according to her biography on www.bluestarstl2017.com.
That season, Silvey averaged 14.3 points per game to go with 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals. She also made 43 3-pointers.
Silvey improved in her junior season, averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.67 assists, and hitting 67 3-pointers. She made 40 percent of her 3-point attempts and 89.6 percent of her free-throw attempts.
Silvey said she has become more aggressive as a player in her high school career and has become better overall.
“Coming into high school, you don't really know what to expect,” she said. “But I think, like, you learn to, like, to adapt to the speed and just find your open teammates, and my teammates, I think, have done a good job of helping me develop my game, too.”
And what teammates she has. Edwardsville entered this season with three other players who earned IBCA All-State honors last season. Junior Rachel Pranger was on the Second Team, junior Kate Martin was on the Fourth Team, and senior Criste'on Waters was an Honorable Mention selection.
Silvey already has her post-high-school path set. In early November, it was announced on siusalukis.com that Silvey had signed a letter of intent to join the Southern Illinois program next fall. She is part of a recruiting class that includes Waters. Silvey said SIU is a good distance from her home and has good coaches who have been recruiting her for a while.
“I just thought I'd be a good fit for that program,” she said.
Silvey has a workout routine that she will work on before going to SIU, and she plans to “get a lot of shots up” in preparation for the move to Division I hoops. But while that is on her mind, there are more immediate concerns.
“Right now, I'm just trying to focus on the school season, but I've definitely thought about it some,” she said.
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