Makenzie Brown | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Field Hockey

(light guitar music) – When I started at eight years old, I kind of never looked back. It’s very centralized in
the area that I grew up. Good clubs, good schools,
it’s a really good foundation for girls and guys to play the sport. Started playing with my school. We played two times a
week, and we’d compete on a Saturday morning. And from there, we got selected to try out for our regional squads. So, I played for the West of Scotland, and we competed against all
other regions in Scotland in a national tournament once a year. – Makenzie was chosen to be the captain, and they actually won the
national championships. And I think that’s where you’re scouted. Makenzie, under 16, played several times for Scotland against England, and then, she went to Holland with the team, and some other tournaments. And then, from then, obviously, she moved on to our discussions to coming over to the States. I think that helped a lot. (light guitar music) (mellow music) – The dream kind of started
when my older brother, Spencer, he committed
to play soccer at IPFW. So, he kind of put coming to
America on the map for me. I think seeing him do it
made it so much easier for me to say, “Yeah,
I’m gonna do it, too.” I signed with an agency
called FirstPoint USA. They help athletes of all
different sports, ages, find scholarships to America. I kind of had set aside
schools I wanted to come to, and I was determined to
go to a Big Ten school. I was like, “Dad, I’m not going to America if I don’t get a Big Ten school.” I think Big Ten has that culture, it’s even more significant. The resources that all
these sports get is amazing, and we don’t get that at home. That’s what I was really
determined to get. (mellow music) – The process is quite challenging, it could be a little
bit stressful sometimes, but also exciting for everybody. Looking at all the options
that are available, and it’s not just,
obviously, field hockey. There’s a lot of other decisions to make, coming away from home for so far away, and then, choosing the
right school, as well. But, I think that was made a lot easier by the official visit we had here. And we’re just blown away with it all. (girls yelling)
– On your left, on your left! – [Alan] You know, the desire of everybody to be successful
academically and sporting, and it seemed like a
huge family, big family. It’s nice to know that she
was being well looked after. I think that was one of
the most important things, you know, when say goodbye to
your daughter or son, (laughs) at the airport, whatever,
it can be quite tough. – Being far away from
home is, it’s not easy, but it’s made easier by the girls that I’m lucky like to call my teammates. And we’re all far from home, whether it’s an hour away in Michigan, or Pennsylvania, or Scotland. We’re all kind of
experiencing the same things in not having our families so close to us, so we get each other through it. If it weren’t for them, I
definitely would struggle a lot more. (girls chattering) – I watch all her games. I don’t miss any, unless
the internet’s not so good, but I get quite involved,
probably too involved sometimes. I do quite like the stats,
and all the opposition, and you know, what they’re all doing. (girls chattering) – When the games are over,
I’ll look at my phone and I’ll have four text messages, one from my dad, one from my
mom, one from my two brothers, and you know, it’ll be a
complete replay of the stats, and what happened, and what
went well, and what didn’t. So they sit at home, no
matter the time difference, I’m so lucky to have people
that want to support me despite how far away they are. Okay, everybody listen
up , Mika’s speaking. Shaw. – I’ve seen her grow, obviously, over the last four or five
years in her confidence, and Makenzie’s very determined young lady, and she’s a leader, as far as, you know, she’s a leader in all
different aspects of life. Not just sports, but with her friends, and she wants to help everybody. And she, being captain of her school team, and her regional team, and
also out here, as well, it takes a strong person
to do that, I think. – Alright, just do it
like you did all week. – I’m extremely proud to
be a part of this team, nevertheless, lead this team.
(team cheers) (audience cheers) – [Announcer] Makenzie Brown. – It’s a big responsibility, you know? We have, that’s 18 girls
you have to motivate, and sometimes it’s hard
to even motivate yourself, nevermind 18 other girls. But, I think saying focused
on what matters the most, and that’s playing the sport that we love, and we get to play, not
that we have to play it. There’s going to be leaders in teams, there’s gonna be followers,
but that doesn’t make anybody any less or any more important. And I love leading, I
love being a good example for our younger girls,
and for girls my age, and keeping them on track,
and motivating them, and keeping everybody inside of the angle. (teams chattering)
(crowd cheering) I never thought when I started playing, I was eight years old, that
I would end up here today, which is kind of surreal
to think about it, that I came all this
way, and I represented the green and white, and
led the green and white. There’s no other word to say but proud. (team chattering) Coming up to graduation,
it’s so tough to know that my hearts in two places. Michigan State’s always gonna have the largest piece of my
heart, but home is home. And, part of me, I
think, will return home, whether I stay there or not. But I’m lucky to know that no matter where in the world I am, I have
where I was born and raised, Scotland, and I have Michigan State, that really helped shape me
into the person that I am today. (group cheering)
(Makenzie applauds) (dramatic hip hop music)

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