Larry Reece’s voice has never made Natasha Mack cry before.
But senior day is unlike any other day on the schedule.
When Oklahoma State faces Iowa State Saturday afternoon, it will be senior day. OSU will be honoring the three seniors on its roster: Abbie Winchester, Bigue Sarr and Natasha Mack.
“I’ll probably shed a few tears (when Reece announces my name),” Mack said. “That might be the last time I hear that, so I don’t know, it’s going to be an emotional day.”
“It means everything to all of our seniors,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “They’ve all exemplified what it means to be a Cowgirl, represented their families, our school, our program in a very positive passion and all of them are great kids.”
Mack is a projected first-round pick in the 2021 WNBA draft; however, she has not yet made a decision on whether she will turn professional or utilize the additional year of college ability offered to all seniors because of the pandemic.
“(Mack) and I talked and said that we would sit down and visit about things after the season’s over with,” Littell said. “Let’s lock in on our conference games and then the Big 12 tournament and hopefully postseason play.”
Mack has only been a Cowgirl for a season and a half, but over the last several months has become so deeply invested in her teammates and rooted in what it means to be a Cowgirl, hardly anyone would know.
“It’s just sometimes when you meet people y’all click…so it feels like we’ve known each other for a long time, like I’ve been here for a while,” Mack said.
When the day comes where Mack leaves OSU, she doesn’t think replacing the people or the town of Stillwater will be easy.
“(I will miss) the people I’m most with, my teammates cause they’re like family, sisters. And then the other people in general cause they are all so nice so I’m going to miss the environment,” Mack said.
When the ball is tipped, however, and the reality of trying to avenge a 10-point loss to the Cyclones last January sets in, all of Mack’s emotions will recede.
“I’m always locked in. The second the ball goes up its lock in time, all emotions go away,” Mack said.