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Athlete Focus: MaKiyah Matthews
MaKiyah Matthews
MaKiyah Matthews (center) in action for the Richmond Hill girl's basketball team. (Photo/Zane Rowland).

MaKiyah Matthews, Richmond Hill’s senior point guard, has had an impressive start to the season for the Lady Wildcats. The four-year varsity leader has helped lead her team to an impressive 5-1 start to the 2023-24 season. 

“I feel like this team has the best chemistry,” Matthews said. “Since I have played varsity, which has been since my freshman year, this is the closest group. We may not like each other every day in practice when we are working [each other] harder to get better, but we definitely love one another.”

Not only has Matthews played all four years of her high school career at Richmond Hill, but she has also played in the area for her entire basketball career. “I first started playing basketball at about four years old,” Matthews said. “I actually started playing here in town at the rec center, so I have been playing for about 13-14 years.”

That experience can be seen on the court on any given night that the Lady Wildcats play. “She does a lot for us,” head coach Sarah Parker said. “She calls the plays on her own a lot. She runs point for us, but she can also shoot really well, so what she brings to the court really helps us as a team.”

With that leadership comes another title, one of team captain. “It means a lot to me to be a captain,” Matthews said. “It means that my teammates see me as a good leader. It also means that they need me to step up and fight for them, and give my all for this team.”

One thing that can be on full display for anyone in the gym watching, is the energy and fighting for her team that Matthews brings each night. “Every game I strive to play for my coach that tragically passed away in 2020, coach Steve Williams,” Matthews said. “My passion comes from that, and also I know that my attitude controls the tempo and energy of the team. So if I am up, they will come up with me. If I am down, they will get down. So I have to stay up at all times.”

While it is her senior year, it has not quite sunk in that this will be her last ride with the Lady Wildcats. “I just hope to keep playing,” Matthews said. “If we keep winning, we get to keep playing and it will last longer.”

After high school, Matthews hopes to continue playing the game that she loves. After a big win this season, she was able to earn her first offer. “I definitely want to play at the next level,” Matthews said. “I have one offer from Penn State Hazleton. I may end up going there to play if that is where it works out for me to play. I want to be an elementary education teacher, so while I play in college, that will be my major.” 

Matthews will lead the Lady Wildcats (5-1) tonight as they host the Brunswick High School Lady Pirates (2-1) on December 5. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

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