OTHELLO — Back in 1995, Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd before his set at the concerts for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, “ … My mother once told me if you were going to call somebody one your influences, then you need to know who their influences are … ” before he and Richie Sambora paid tribute to John Lennon by playing “Imagine.”
Othello senior Macy Hampton doesn’t know much about any of those people, probably never even heard of the song, but she does have her own set of influences that have been with her from AAU ball all the way to the Huskies’ 1,000-point club.
The 5-foot-8, shooting guard scored 24 points last week against Grandview en route to surpassing the 1,000-point mark, becoming just the seventh player in Othello girls basketball history to score more than a 1,000 points.
She joins a pretty impressive list that includes: 1. Jenny McCourtie, 1,508; 2. Jamie Juarez, 1,155; 3. Shawna Juarez; 4. Courtney Kirkwood; 5. Allison Walker; 6. Christine Kirkwood; 7. Macy Hampton, 1,010 (24 points against Grandview Jan. 15, 2019).
ST: Let’s start there. You have played for Josh Tovar in either AAU or Little Huskies since the third grade. Who were some of your basketball influences growing up?
Hampton: My favorite all-time player is Russell Westbrook III (Oklahoma City Thunder, seven-time NBA All-Star). I try to mimic his explosiveness on the court.
Around here, I’ve always looked up to (Jenny) McCourtie and Christine Kirkwood and her sister Courtney. I didn’t watch them play a lot, but I definitely knew about them. They were fluid players and fun to watch.”
ST: What did you like about McCourtie and the Kirkwood sisters as people?
Hampton: They’re respectable and humble, I think. That’s definitely something I like in a personality and I try to be more like that.
ST: Who are some of your influences in your family?
Hampton: My grandparents, Buddy and Diane, are some of my biggest supporters. They’re like at every game. My parents, Matt and Elda, taught me discipline. You have to have your head screwed on straight if you want to get better. I take that with me in school and it helps me with sports as well.
ST: What did you learn about how to treat people from your family?
Hampton: If you want respect, treat others with respect. Just be humble is the big thing and be positive in what you do. Yeah, positive energy.
ST: How about negative influences? Who or what do you not want to be like?
Hampton: I don’t know if there’s anybody that I don’t want to be like. But I was taught right from wrong, not in a harsh way. I think that helps in my decision making and who I chose to be around.
ST: Who are some of your influences outside of your family?
Hampton: Hailee Guzman, my teammate, is just an all-around athlete. She’s really fun to watch, especially in soccer, because that’s her sport. She’ll dribble between any defender, no fear, and she’s always fun to watch. Her effort is what makes it fun.
ST: How about outside of sports, who has impacted your life?
Hampton: I have to mention Tanaya Andersen. She’s always been an athlete and a person that I really look up to. I played basketball and tennis with her. She’s an all-around great person and to top it off, she’s an amazing athlete.”
ST: Last question, you played tennis for Big Rob Pruneda. What was that like? Does he yell a lot?
Hampton: (Big ol’ smile). He’s so funny and so extroverted. He’s awesome just to hang around with and be coached by. He’s just an Othello guy that likes being a part of this town, part of this school. He means a lot to me.
Hampton is looking to continue her basketball and academic career at Whitman College in Walla Walla. But she still has a chance to add to her point total with five more games left in the regular season.
She might not catch her athletic director as the all-time leading scorer in Huskies girls basketball history, but she is going to take a run at it, and maybe even be an influence to the Little Huskies girls basketball program in the process.