The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Meet Macy Watson, December Athlete of the Month

Courtesy Christie Watson and Natalie Holm
Senior Macy Watson poses with coach Ray Stribling as a part of the (left) Crittenden Middle School and (right) LAHS basketball team.

Senior Macy Watson is a friend to everyone on the Los Altos High School girls basketball team. No matter their grade level or if they’re on junior varsity or varsity, as captain and senior, Macy has made the team a safe space for anyone to grow. Her hardworking attitude and supportive personality got her nominated for December’s Athlete of the Month and her abilities helped the varsity team finish as 2023 CCS runner-up and make it to the quarterfinals this winter.

Macy was a little late to starting basketball, having spent some of elementary school in Germany where her school didn’t have any hoops.

“When I moved to California, basketball was new to me and it was super exciting,” Macy said. “It was a struggle at first. I couldn’t get it to the hoop, I couldn’t even make a layup, I could barely dribble the ball; but I just kept playing and playing and playing.”

At Crittenden Middle School, Macy met Ray Stribling, who coached Crittenden’s team at the time, and is now LAHS’s assistant girls basketball coach.

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“Macy’s very upbeat, very positive,” Stribling said. “She always jumped right in, always high-fiving. She was always just a real positive energetic spirit.”

Throughout middle school, Macy continued to play with the same energy. Hoping to join the LAHS team her freshman year, she attended a basketball training session with high schoolers for the first time the summer before. 

“I was super scared, but some of the older girls took me under their wings and showed me around,” Macy said. “I improved a lot because I had a safe space to be challenged.”

Joining LAHS varsity that winter, Macy noticed the typical hierarchy of seniors at the top and freshmen at the bottom. Once she became an upperclassman herself, she wanted to change that environment and reciprocate the care and kindness she experienced during her summer training to the underclassmen on the team. 

Macy explained that although all the upperclassmen have been making an effort to welcome new players, she still sometimes sees a divide between varsity and JV.

“When we’re working out with JV players, I want to make them feel like a part of the team — not separate from varsity,” Macy said. “Especially as captain and a senior this year, I wanted to remove a bit of that culture and make any age feel welcome and safe. I think that’s part of the reason why I fight so hard to welcome the freshmen.”

Throughout the season, Macy partnered up with freshmen during their training in an effort to befriend everyone on the team. 

“Having someone come up to me and guide me through stuff was really helpful,” freshman Erin Jesensky said. “I had a really good experience and I think Macy was a really big cause of that. I liked the energy she gave off; she kind of opened her arms up for me.” 

For Macy, basketball goes beyond just playing the game. She hopes the friendships she has built through the years will be long-lasting.  

“I just want to shout out all my teammates,” Macy said. “I love them so much and I’m just so glad for all the moments we shared on and off the court.”

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