McALESTER — You can see all the emotions McAlester senior forward Lacey McLain brings to a basketball game with just one glance. There’s intensity and competitiveness and focus, of course, but also some frustration, and perhaps even a touch of desperation.
That’s exactly the combination of emotions you want in a leader on the team. McLain not only leads McAlester’s offense, but her expression of “no regrets” has become the Lady Buffs’ rallying call this season.
“We had a Thanksgiving dinner at (coach April Burns’) house, and she asked each and every one of us what’s one goal we have for this year,” McLain said Thursday. “Mine was, number one, to have no regrets this year.”
Born in Las Vegas, McLain said she briefly lived in Nevada, Oregon and California before her family moved to McAlester when she was 5. She almost immediately started playing basketball, first at the Boys and Girls Club, then for Krebs Elementary School in the third grade.
McLain went to Krebs through the eighth grade, then attended McAlester High School. She said the much larger MHS was difficult to navigate at first — “I got a couple tardies with that,” she said — but MHS gave her the opportunity to start working with Burns.
McLain credited much of her development as a forward to Burns. McLain said Burns taught her “to never give up, never have any regrets, and to just be very aggressive.”
Always a forward, McLain said she first made the varsity as a freshman. Her playing time has increased dramatically this season, with McLain alternating between starting and being one of the first off the bench.
McLain has led the Lady Buffs this season with 12.8 points per game, a 43-percent field goal percentage and a 70-percent free throw percentage. She also ranks second on the team with 4.3 rebounds.