By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Chapin High School point guard McKenzie Lott, youngest daughter of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, was named to the Lexington County ALL-COUNTY Basketball Team for girls high school basketball in March. The honor for the 16-year-old Chapin junior comes on the heels of her being named one of the top 24 junior girls in the South Carolina Hoops Festival Junior Showcase.

“McKenzie is a very, very good shooter,” said Carey Rich, a former University of South Carolina basketball captain (played for the Gamecocks from 1992-1995) who was numbered among the Allstate Southeastern Conference Basketball Legends in 2018. “McKenzie’s very cerebral. She’s a high-IQ basketball player. She ‘thinks’ the game!”

Rich, who today directs the S.C. Hoops Festival, added, “We also love McKenzie’s competitive fire. She’s very competitive.”

Chapin High School Girls Basketball Coach Craig Taylor agrees.

“It has been a pleasure to watch McKenzie grow both on and off the court,” Taylor said. “She has done a great job developing every aspect of her game throughout her high school career.”

Taylor credits Lott’s basketball-skills development and success to her commitment to all team workouts and practices, her work ethic (including academics), and her off-time practicing.

“McKenzie has grown into a leader for the basketball program as well as the school,” said Taylor. “She was elected a captain this year as a junior as well as being one of two juniors in Chapin High School to be selected to the Building Bridges Leadership Academy. It is an honor to be selected to this program as only two juniors from each high school in Lexington Richland District 5 are chosen and McKenzie was one of them.”

Not only basketball, but Lott is a starting catcher on the Chapin High Softball Team.

“McKenzie is without a doubt a natural leader,” said Chapin Softball Head Coach Calvin Sayger, adding he’s not at all surprised by her basketball accolades. “Her teammates can’t help but to gravitate towards her. The energy she plays with and her competitiveness are characteristics you look for in a player. She is the type of player that can bring a whole team together. On the softball field, she is the glue that holds us together.”

All this, and she’s a member of the National Honor Society.