McKenna Hofschild makes basketball about more than just games

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Collegian | Michael Giles

Colorado State University Ram McKenna Hofschild (4) guards against the Utah State University Aggies Feb 9. The Rams won 86-83.

Michael Giles, Sports Reporter

As Colorado State University women’s basketball finished out their 2021-22 season this past weekend playing in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, star player McKenna Hofschild from Prior Lake, Minnesota, received much praise for her dedication and commitment to the team.

While the Rams lost in the first round of the WNIT on March 18 with a score of 72-63 against the University of Portland Pilots, Hofschild led the path of being an honorable athlete during the entire season. Hofschild’s success on the court landed her a spot on this year’s Mountain West All-Conference team.

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Hofschild ranked fifth nationally for assist-to-turnover ratio, being an exceptional point guard on the court while staying focused in the classroom as she studies marketing with a minor in sports management.

Hofschild started with a dream, just like anyone else. She was inspired to be like her older brother after attending many basketball practices her dad coached for him at a younger age. She turned her dreams into reality by remaining persistent and never giving up her dream of being a basketball player, which began when she was only four years old.

“My older brother played, and my dad coached his team,” Hofschild said. “So when they would have practices, he always kind of dragged me along and kind of just gave me a ball and (told) me to go kind of do my own thing, so I think that’s where it really started. And then as the years went on, I continued to always be in the gym with my brother and my dad. It just kind of sparked something that I was like, ‘Yeah, this is what I want to do.'”

Though Hofschild is the shortest member on the CSU team, standing at 5 feet, 5 inches, she is nonetheless an incredible powerhouse, and her commitment to achieving greatness hasn’t fallen short of that.

“I mean, obviously me and my stature doesn’t really look like I’d be able to excel on the basketball court with it being the big, athletic, tall game that it is, but just being persistent and always being strong-minded is super important — and never letting anyone tell you what you can’t do, just telling yourself what you can do,” Hofschild said.

As she continues her career as a basketball player here at CSU, she hopes to leave a legacy beyond the court.

“I just hope I’m known for more than just basketball, more than just what I did on the court,” Hofschild said. “I hope being here, I can help bring a championship back to CSU, but then also off the court just being known for someone who’s really doing it for the right reasons, doing it the right way and just being an overall great teammate off and on the floor.”

Although Hofschild transferred to CSU after her freshman year at Seton Hall University, her past two years as a Ram taught her many lessons both internally and on the court.

“It’s helped me grow so much,” she said. “I think just being here and seeing how much everybody really cares for each other and how much everyone wants to see each other succeed has helped me grow in ways I didn’t even know I could. Being here for my second year, I’ve become more confident in what I do both on the court and off the court. Just having a good support system has helped me grow my confidence and realize what it looks like to be a good person at the end of the day.”

Hofschild’s advice as a player on the Colorado State women’s basketball team for people considering trying out or hoping to play any collegiate sport in the future is, “Division I collegiate sports can always be tricky because, you know, it’s a lot of time; it’s a lot of effort committed to one thing. But … the relationships and experiences you get from the sports you play is monumental and will always stay with you, so I think just … know it’s not always about the X’s and O’s on the basketball court, but it’s more about this part of your life being one of the better times in your life.”

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Before Hofschild helped land her team in the final 2022 Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she wanted to elevate her gameplay by “bringing the intangibles, like the energy and passion for the game, because when it comes down to the end of the season, that’s what it takes.”

“It’s a long season; it can be draining, so just coming in every day with the focus and energy to want to be where you’re at, I think that’s really what I could bring and step up for these next few games to try and get us to the point where we want to be in a championship game competing for the Mountain West title,” Hofschild said prior to the tournament.

Though the Rams did not bring the title back home to Fort Collins, losing to the UNLV Rebels with a score of 75-65, Hofschild reminded fans of the other fun parts of playing this collegiate sport.

“After the UCHealth game, just being able to see everyone connect and be part of something that was super special, super important and more than just one game or one day was really inspiring and touching for not just me but the whole team, so that was a really cool day for all of us,” Hofschild said. “I think it connected us in a different way, and it’s helped us since then.”

While collegiate sports are focused on hard work and competitions, Hofschild shows there are many things to appreciate about this sport. It’s the beauty of sportsmanship and being a valuable and trustworthy teammate before receiving any titles. Hofschild will continue her career in basketball at CSU for another year, hoping to bring home the MW championship title next season.

Reach Michael Giles at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Michaelrenee10.