*This feature appeared in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Monthly Newsletter in December of 2018
The NCAA's coined term of "student-athlete" is defined as "a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled. Student-athletes are full-time students as well as full-time athletes." This could not be truer of Wilmington College senior Mackenzie Campbell. The Cincinnati native balances being one of the key members of the women's basketball program as well as maintaining a 3.99 grade point average in Wilmington's exercise science program.
How has she been able to excel so well in both areas? According to Campbell, it's been time management.
"Somedays it's been tough going from class to basketball," says Campbell. "Being organized and knowing what I need to do and when I need to do it has been vital to my college career."
There have been times during Campbell's career that academic requirements and athletic demands have overlapped. Despite that, she has never missed a class, workout or practice.
"Matt Bliss, the head of the exercise science program, has always been there to help out whenever I've needed it," she says. "All of the professors I've had are very willing to accommodate my schedule as a student-athlete and help me achieve my academic goals."
This fall, Mackenzie has also had to work some preseason workouts and practices around her internship at Smiles Integrated Therapy in Loveland.
"I've had to get about 170 hours down there, and the majority of those have been during the preseason," Campbell said. "I had to do a lot of workouts separate from the team, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything."
A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, Campbell has also garnered All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) honors twice as well as being named the OAC's Freshman of the Year in 2015-16. She entered her senior season 12th in program history in scoring with 1,198 points and is on pace to conclude her career in the top 10 in Wilmington history in both rebounds and assists.
Head Women's Basketball Coach Jerry Scheve says this of Campbell, "Mackenzie gives her all in everything that she does, both on the court and in the classroom. At the same time, she is exceptionally support of her teammates, friends and family. Mackenzie's basketball goal is to win a championship and she lives her life like a champion every day."
Campbell plans to attend graduate school next academic year and will pursue a career in occupational therapy. Though not over, Mackenzie's Wilmington career as both a student and an athlete has already helped her get prepared for life after college.
"I've learned a lot of lessons here, particularly time management and organization," Campbell said. "It's not always going to be easy, it's not always fun, but you get through it and great things happen."