Melcher commits to Northwest Missouri State

Emmalie Herd, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Junior Kenzie Melcher started playing basketball in preschool. She moved to playing for a team in the 7th grade where she was coached by her father, Kevin Melcher. After putting in years of practice, Melcher received her first college offer on Oct. 15 to play women’s basketball for Northwest Missouri State University. She then committed to this school on Nov. 9.

Kenzie’s parents put her in almost every sport but basketball was the one that stuck. She practices frequently to keep up her skills.

“I go into the gym and I shoot almost every night,”  Kenzie said. “That’s helped with the consistency with shooting and just getting better with my ball handling.” 

Kevin Melcher said that he has seen a lot of growth in his daughter as a player. He has seen her work with her coaches to further develop her skills.

“They have made her a better player in all aspects of the game,” Kevin Melcher said.

Kenzie said that the hardest part of playing basketball in high school is having the right mentality and having confidence.

“The biggest thing that I saw early in her career, she needed to find some confidence,” head coach Dane Bacon said. “And because she’s worked so hard at it, that confidence has started to grow. When she plays with high confidence, she does a really, really good job.”

Kenzie said she felt motivated to work harder because of Bacon and he encouraged her to be a better player.

“I feel like if I had a coach who wasn’t as good as him, it would make me want to quit because I know a lot of people that quit because of coaches,” Kenzie said. “But having him as a coach is actually fine and makes me want to keep playing.”

Kenzie’s hard work led her to receive her first college basketball offer from Northwest Missouri State University.

“When I found out, I was really surprised, like, well, I’m more surprised and excited at the time, because I didn’t expect it,” Kenzie said. “But like now I’m really excited.”

According to Kenzie, getting this offer made her feel like she was good enough. She said that after seeing others receive scholarships and wondering when her turn would come, finally receiving the offer gave her a boost of confidence.

In order to help with the recruiting process, Bacon said he speaks to as many coaches as possible for the team as well as communicating with other coaches a few times a week to get things they could possibly improve on.

Kenzie also puts in effort when it comes to getting herself recruited. She said she uses Twitter to post things like season highlights and to retweet other posts about her. She also contacts coaches directly.

“It’s just a lot,” Kenzie Melcher said. “You have to call coaches every night and you have to text them back as soon as possible. You have to be proper. But it’s exciting also, because they’re interested in you.”

Bacon said that Kenzie is not only a good shooter but that she also has a work ethic that stands out.

“She’s a kid right now in our program who has worked as hard as, if not the hardest of anybody, at our program,” Bacon said. “Over the last, you know, four or five years since I’ve known her she’s made a ton of improvement.”

Even after Kenzie’s improvements, her offer from Northwest Missouri State encouraged her to continue to work hard and do her best.

I hope that I continue to just get better as a basketball player but also as a person,” Kenzie said. “I hope that they can help me continue to grow in both of those aspects.”

With the support of her coaches and her dad, Kenzie committed on November 9 before the 2022-2023 basketball season started.

“I just know that this is the place for me, I feel it in my gut,” Kenzie said. “So why waste your time and other people’s time when you already know what you want.”