Meet the Queen of the hardwood courts, Weeki Wachee’s Mckenna Corbett

McKenna Corbett                                                                                                                                     Photo by JOE DICRISTOFALO

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Second straight POY

who has opted not play

at the collegiate level

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

For the second straight season, Hernando County’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year – Weeki Wachee graduate Mckenna Marie Corbett – has opted against playing at the next level.

Mckenna Corbett

That’s ironic because the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder definitely earned her success.

The brown-tressed and blue-eyed Corbett was born in nearby Inverness.

Raised as the third oldest of four children, Mckenna’s mom, Georgette, attended both Central and Springstead High Schools, but didn’t play any sports.

Her father, Sean, who hails from Boca Raton played soccer and wrestling.

According to Corbett, she’s been raised “practically my entire life in Spring Hill.”

Corbett’s initial brush with organized athletics arrived at 4 years old playing a season of soccer in Inverness.

Next, followed a stint with youth soccer at the Anderson Snow Sports Complex in Spring Hill.

She began branching out after matriculating at J.D. Floyd Middle School.

As a sixth-grader, she made the junior varsity basketball team, played tennis for the Dolphins, and concentrated in the half-mile and mile during track and field.

As a seventh-grader, she made the varsity hoops squad, but had decided not to rejoin either the tennis or track teams.

As an eighth-grader, she stuck to the varsity basketball team and didn’t play any other sports.

Penny Gressick

Initially, she enrolled at Central High and played two varsity basketball seasons under Penny Gressick.

In Year 1, she averaged 12.9 points per game and was named All-County as a freshman.

As a sophomore, she helped guide the Bears to a 12-11 overall mark.

The season was punctuated by elevating her scoring average 15.4 ppg, and collecting over 4.1 rebounds per game.

Despite the fact, that she was No. 1 scoring option, Corbett transferred to Weeki Wachee High School prior to her junior season.

Joining forces with Seytia Hill and Shayleese “Mama” Vasquez helped solidify the Hornets attack.

With Corbett in the starting rotation, that gave the Hornets some flexibility in utilizing all its resources.

Mike Munro Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Under veteran skipper Mike Munro, the Hornets fashioned back-to-back Hernando County and district championship runs.

As a junior, Corbett, helped the Hornets push to 21-9.

She averaged less than what she did at Central at 15.0 ppg, but her game morphed.

She added stability from the foul line, hitting over .70 percent of her foul attempts. More importantly – she took advantage of shooting over shorter players from the perimeter.

She dropped in 43 treys in 2017-18 and due to her proficiency from the outside, it denied teams of totally collapsing down on the Hornets’ half court game.

As a senior, she drained more three-pointers (83) than any previous WWHS player.

She averaged 15.0 ppg for a third straight campaign.

Only Hernando High’s Nakayla Roberts, averaged more points per game.

From the charity stripe, she finished as the county’s third-most precise foul shooter at 67 percent.

Springstead High’s Yhanni Batts eyes Weeki Wachee High’s ,14, Mykenna Corbett before attempting a shot. Photo by JOE DICRISTOFALO

She finished with over 1,000 career points and 457 career caroms.

Area coaches easily named her All-County for a fourth time.

She was further feted as county’s Player of the Year.

Looking back, Corbett believes she‘s gone full circle in hoops.

“I remember playing from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. with my brother at the local court,” she recalled “I wasn’t any good, but I liked playing the game.

“The key was I stuck to it. I’ve always been a shooter,” she added. “Even though I was tall, I didn’t get many rebounds.”

On what stands out now that her prep days accumulated, “I was never a big-time scorer inside the paint. That’s not me. But reaching 1,000 points really stood out,“ she says. “The only thing I’m more proud of accomplishing is being a two-time district champ and of course, making in to the Final Four.“

Looking back

Weeki Wachee High’s Mykenna Corbett rushes up court in the Class 6A, District 7 semi final match against Citrus High at Nature Coast Technical High in Brooksville. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

“Winning as a senior was a lot harder,” explained Corbett, 18, “Crystal River came after us with twice as much energy.”

To become the first Hernando County female team to reach the Final Four in 20 years, WWHS had to solve St. Augustine=Pedro Menendez.

“That regional final – a 43-34 victory – was the game where it all came together,” shared Corbett. “That night we came together as one. I remember we put it all on the floor. I thought – considering the opponent and the situation – it was like the best game we could’ve ever played.”

A week later in Lakeland, WWHS faced American Heritage in the Final Four, “It was nerve wracking. It was a great arena, great venue.

“But that night, they (Plantation) were the better team. They had more height, more energy. They were nervous, but not like we were.”

After falling, 56-26, “I remember it as my worst-ever game. I couldn’t get the ball. They smothered me. I didn’t get a chance to breathe.

Mykenna Corbett

“… I remember walking away with three points; that was awful,” summed up Corbett. “I remember how well our fans supported us. That’s something that will always stay with me.”

“That loss didn’t hit me until the next day at school, when I realized we didn’t have practice after school.

“I thought we were a lot closer as a team because we did a lot of team-building activities together,” shared Corbett. “We definitely all became sisters this year.”

On her POY reaction, After landing the POY nod, “I was shocked,” noted Corbett. “I wasn’t looking for it, but I think I worked hard for whatever I received.”

“I improved the most in maintaining consistency offensively. Working to get open isn’t easy, but there’s a lot of satisfaction in finishing plays.”

On what she’ll miss most, “Probably just hanging out after practice,” said Corbett. “And seeing everybody together.”

After the season

Springstead High’s Morgan Nelski drives the baseline past Weeki Wachee’s ,14, Mykenna Corbett. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

According to Corbett she received plenty of offers to continue playing – but they were mostly partial scholarships.

“I definitely wanted to play at the next level, but I couldn’t afford it.”

These days. Corbett recently changed jobs at Smoothie King to working at the Hernando County Family YMCA.

In just over two weeks, she’ll start school at nearby Pasco-Hernando State College.

Her plan includes earning her AA degree and eventually becoming a teacher.

Before heading off to college, Corbett addressed her legacy.

“I’d like to be remembered as a good team player, a good teammate, and a good friend for any one seeking help.”

In a card of thanks, she publicly wanted to acknowledge her parents and older brother, who had helped shape her game.

“I owe my parents a lot. They both pushed me so hard. But I have to thank my teammates and coaches for making me become the best player I could be.”

By the Numbers:

Mckenna Corbett (2015-19):

s- Compiled by TONY CASTRO

Hannah Storie, MyKenna Corbett, Seytia Hill and Shayleese Vazquez react as Halie Bondulich attempts a foul shot near the end of the 6A-7 Championship game. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

YEAR

GP

FG

3-PT

FTA

FTM

,PCT

TP

PPG

2015-16^

23

109

39

65

40

.615

297

12.9

2017-18^

19

109

63

20

11

.550

292

15.4

2017-18 &

28

159

43

85

60

.706

421

15.0

2018-19 &

31

170

83

61

41

.672

464

15.0

TOTALS

101

547

228

231

152

.658

1,474

14.6

* Denotes played at Central High

+ Denotes played at Weeki Wachee

 

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