Hannah McKay: One last ride for the Racers

Senior forward Hannah McKay smiles during her interviews before the first official practice.
Senior forward Hannah McKay smiles during her interviews before the first official practice.

Leadership is an important quality to have in the locker room, and luckily for the Racers, they have multiple players who are willing to step up.

Senior forward Hannah McKay describes herself as a “lead by example” type of player in the locker room. She has success as a Racer, averaging 10 points and six rebounds a game in the past two seasons. 

McKay also knows what it’s like to have expectations coming out of high school. The Owensboro native attended Owensboro Catholic High School, where she scored a total of 1,716 points and brought down 918 rebounds in her high school career. 

In her junior year of high school, McKay averaged 13.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game. She earned All-State honorable mention by the Lexington Herald Leader and 2019 All-State second-team selection by the Courier-Journal.

In her senior year of high school, McKay averaged 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. She was named 2020 Owensboro Times Player of the Year and 2020 3rd-Region Co-Player of the Year. She also earned a 2020 All-State first-team selection by the Courier-Journal, a 2020 All-State second-team selection by the Lexington Herald Leader and was a 2020 Miss Kentucky Basketball finalist.

Basketball wasn’t the only sport Hannah played in high school, she played softball and volleyball as well. She was a good softball player, sothe decision to pursue basketball was a hard one to make. 

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do until my sophomore year of high school, I think it’s just how competitive it [basketball] is,” McKay said.

McKay said she knew she wanted to play basketball. The next decision was where to play. After some self-reflection and discussion with family, she ultimately decided to come to Murray State to be a Racer.

“The people,” McKay said. “I felt like I just clicked with them as soon as I came here on my first visit. I loved the coaches, loved the players, I loved the atmosphere.”

As she enters her senior year at Murray State, McKay said she hopes to spread her knowledge of the game to her younger teammates. 

“I want the younger ones to learn something,” McKay said. “I want them to be able to look up to me and know that they can come to me for anything.”

Leadership is something that the Racers need after guard Macey Turley and forward Alexis Burpo ran out of eligibility and departed from the team after last year. McKay then began to take on more of a leadership role last season.

McKay goes up for a rebound during a regular season game last season (R)

“At times it can be tough,” McKay said. “I’m not necessarily a vocal person, so I kind of am a leader by playing hard all the time.”

In her freshman year, she played in 22 games and started in three of them. McKay averaged six points and 4.3 rebounds in the 2020-21 season. Of those 22 games she played in, she scored 10+ points in six of them with a season high of 15 points. 

McKay saw playing time in 32 games her sophomore year, the 2021-22 season. She started in all but one of those games, averaging 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. She was named to the 2021-22 All-OVC Second Team and the 2021-22 OVC Commissioner’s Roll. 

Last year, McKay put up similar numbers despite Murray State’s move from the Ohio Valley Conference to the Missouri Valley Conference. This move was a tough one for the Racers, given the increase in physicality in the new conference.

“The OVC and MVC are two completely different conferences,” McKay said. “I would say it’s a lot faster in the MVC and they’re a lot stronger.”

In her junior year, McKay averaged 10 points and 6.7 rebounds a game, maintaining a sense of stability for the Racers as they navigated through the new conference. 

McKay said the new conference has made her tougher as a player. Her toughness and leadership will be qualities the Racers will miss dearly after this season, but she has this year to lay it all out on the court. 

After a 7-13 conference record last year in the first year of MVC play, McKay said she is ready to come out of the gates firing. 

“We’re coming out every game ready to play,” McKay said. “And we’re getting better each day.”


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