Arkansas-prep hoops standout Makiya Love boosting stock after banner freshman season

lanae1Makiya “Mya” Love recently wrapped up her first full season of major high school basketball.

If someone didn’t know any better, they would have sensed that she wasn’t a 14-year-old newcomer to a Jonesboro (Ark.) Nettleton High team that’s fresh off of a dramatic postseason run.

A 5-foot-7, 142-pound combo guard, Love made a solid case that the 2015-16 season was a coming out party, of sorts, for a once-unproven player who not only adjusted comfortably as a freshman, but showed time again that she could provide fits for the opposition each time she sets foot on the court.

Such was the case in this, her much-anticipated prep rookie season.

There was Love, demonstarting all too often just how much she loves the game, wasting little time emerging as the catalyst for Jason Smith’s team that finished the year with a 27-4 mark, which included an Arkansas Region 5A East regular season championship.

“I’m sure they hear many athletes say this all the time but I truly do love the game of basketball,” Love told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson earlier this week. “My intensity, my drive, my passion, my ability to be an all-around player isn’t just myself but for my team.”

FANTASTIC FROSH --- For starters, not only did Makiya Love earned the right to be installed as a starter for a Lady Raiders team that finished ranked No. 10 in the state at season's end, according to Maxpreps.com, but she held her own against opposing, more experienced guards in the process while quicky emerging as the No. 3 overall player in the state for the Class of 2019 by several recruiting analysts. To her credit, she aveaged around 10 points per game and her all-around display ultimately gave way to her earning All-Region and All-Tournament during what was a memorable postseason run for Nettleton.

FANTASTIC FROSHFor starters, not only did Makiya Love earned the right to be installed as a starter for a Lady Raiders team that finished ranked No. 10 in the state at season’s end, according to Maxpreps.com, but she held her own against opposing, more experienced guards in the process while quicky emerging as the No. 3 overall player in the state for the Class of 2019 by several recruiting analysts.
To her credit, she aveaged around 10 points per game and her all-around display ultimately gave way to her earning All-Region and All-Tournament during what was a memorable postseason run for Nettleton.

Interesting enough, for a player who has proven to handle the intense maturation process that comes with high school basketball, Love certainly knows what she’s talking about.

For starters, not only did she earn the right to be installed as a starter for a Lady Raiders team that finished ranked No. 10 in the state at season’s end, according to Maxpreps.com, but she held her own against opposing, more experienced guards in the process while quickly emerging as the No. 3 overall player in the state for the Class of 2019 by several recruiting analysts.

To her credit, she averaged around 10 points per game and her all-around display ultimately gave way to her earning All-Region and All-Tournament during what was a memorable postseason run for Nettleton.

“Offensively I got to the basket strong, and I have a nice pull up jump shot along with my ability to shut down the point guard defensively,” Love said when asked to assess her play this past season. “I am a team player, and nothing makes me happier than getting the assist.”
And then there are the things about which Love knows full well she must address as she continues to make a favorable impression on scouts during what is shaping up to be a pretty steller recruiting process for this prized newcomer.
Love said she has acquired “a few letters of interest,” but boasts lofty aspirations of playing for the University of Tennessee, University of Arkansas, or Baylor once her prep career ends.
STAR WATCH --- A 5-foot-7, 142-pound combo guard, Love made a solid case that the 2015-16 season was a coming out party, of sorts, for a once-unproven player who not only adjusted comfortably as a freshman, but showed time again that she could provide fits for the opposition each time she sets foot on the court.

STAR WATCHA 5-foot-7, 142-pound combo guard, Love made a solid case that the 2015-16 season was a coming out party, of sorts, for a once-unproven player who not only adjusted comfortably as a freshman, but showed time again that she could provide fits for the opposition each time she sets foot on the court.

 

“I am the starting point guard for my high school team,” said Love, who expected to play on the AAU circuit this summer. “Although I feel my ball handling skills are getting better in each game, I am also aware that I still  have some areas in my ball handling that needs improving.”

Lanae Morgan, Love’s mother who discovered her daughter’s immense basketball talents in Dallas-Fort Worth area five years ago, is thoroughly impressed by the strides she has made in recent years, a trend that earned her a varsity starting job for one of Arkansas’ finest programs.

“Not only is she athletic, she is academically developed,” Morgan said. “She is smart and comes from a Christian background, where we believe all things are possible to those who believe and who continues to seek God’s grace. What God has for her will come to pass.”

Fortunately for the hoops-crazed fans in the Natural State, they are starting to witness just that.


AndreEDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

 

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

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