Guest post: Makenzie Cann shares part of her story to earn a scholarship at Kentucky

Makenzie Cann (Vicky Graff Photo)

Vaught’s Note: Kentucky sophomore Makenzie Cann wrote a terrific post for her blog and she gave me permission to share part of it here. Cann is an integrated strategic communications major and jokes she’s had plenty of experience writing press releases. However, she gave some great insights into her journey from Anderson County to Cincinnati to UK in her blog. Enjoy this portion.


My redshirt year was everything I could have hoped. The first summer I got here my goal was to be able to call my dad and tell him he didn’t have to pay for school any more. I’m already a competitive person, but this was farther than that. I wanted to be the best I could. Of course, don’t we all?

But, I had to prove myself for not only me, but I had to do it for family who made sacrifices for me to make this crazy move (from Cincinnati).  My dad has provided me with so much my whole life, this was the one thing I could give back.  After the summer it happened. I cried. I called my dad and told him the news. “Coach gave me a scholarship, dad. You don’t have to pay anymore. I’m on scholarship to play basketball at Kentucky.”

Coach (Matthew Mitchell) and I did not know each other extremely well just a few months before this, so it was a huge moment for me. I made sure he knew how thankful I was that he had given me the opportunity and now this. Now we obviously know each other pretty well. It’s cool to reflect on that moment.

People ask me about my recruiting process both times pretty often. To be honest, I do not know why things happened the way they did.  I do know it was all part of a bigger plan. I have never been happier to call my dad.  A scholarship didn’t guarantee playing time, so I still had things to achieve and goals to work towards. It did mean, however, that I was finally able to do that for my family. It was also God’s way of showing his faithfulness by reminding me that I had made the right choice in choosing to follow him. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4.

The rest of the year I spent doing whatever the team needed. I was mostly on the scout team. My role was seemingly small, but everyone in the program made it feel big. Even though I didn’t get to play in a game during the 2015-2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules, I grew immensely.

After the season our team saw our roster fall from 14 to six In bizarre fashion, others decided this was not the place for them. I can’t speak for Coach, but I’m sure he would agree it was a difficult time. I have nothing but respect for Coach and this program, and it didn’t make sense. I guess sometimes, things just don’t make sense.

In May of last year the upcoming season (the one we just finished) had a lot of question about what would happen. I honestly had no idea either. But this wouldn’t be the first time I was going into something that appeared impossible. I had already seen God be faithful in my life. I told Coach I was behind him 100 percent.

“I like being the underdog,” I told him.

* * * *

To read Cann’s entire story, go to


Leave a Reply