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McKenna Hofschild: A face atop CSU’s Mount Rushmore

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Collegian | Grace Goolsby
Colorado State University women’s basketball guard McKenna Hofschild shakes CSU Director of Athletics Joe Parker’s hand in Moby Arena Dec. 5, 2023. Hofschild was presented an honorary basketball for becoming the CSU all-time assist leader prior to the CSU game against High Point University.

The “not since Becky Hammon” list seems to get longer and longer every time Colorado State women’s basketball star guard McKenna Hofschild takes the court. 

The most recent addition: selling out Moby Arena, a feat not accomplished since the Hammon-led Rams did so in 1999. 

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“It did not take long for me to realize that this was going to be a place that I could forever call home.” –McKenna Hofschild, CSU women’s basketball guard

Helping uplift the program and set standards similar to what many consider the glory days make up just a small part of what Hofschild has done in her career for the program, and her accomplishments have been nothing short of phenomenal. 

“It’s been fun to watch her grow and progress her game and become a complete player,” coach Ryun Williams said. “And I know we talk about her offense a lot, but she’s really grown on the defensive end as well, and that’s probably where I’m most pleased, to be honest.”

Having a player who is willing to take on that role is not something every program has. 

In fact, it’s something that a lot of programs don’t have at all. If you watch closely enough, Hofschild’s understanding of the offensive sets is apparent. She reads the defense, and from then on, it’s a game of chess in which Hofschild is able to place her fellow teammates in a way that only rivals that of a grand master. 

“(I’m) just trying to be a strong leader that can give people confidence and encourage people to be the best they can possibly be,” Hofschild said. “But (I’m) also holding myself and other people accountable. It’s a fine balance that I’ve had to learn over the years, and I think I’ve gotten to a good point in that regard.”

The Rams’ floor general has truly been a one-of-a-kind star this season. In her final season at CSU, the milestones she has surpassed are truly awe-inspiring achievements. 

Last year, Hofschild received an All-America Honorable Mention from the Associated Press in the same season when she took home the Mountain West Player of the Year award. This season, she’s stepped up her game and surpassed Ellen Nystrom to become the CSU all-time assist leader. Her name can consistently be found in award conversations with the likes of Iowa’s star guard Caitlin Clark and deservingly so.

Her ability to lead and dissect a defense is the reason Hofschild sits second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. Her 24 points and 7.7 assists per game this season on an uber-efficient clip is what has now landed her on the 2024 Nancy Lieberman Award top 10 watchlist for best point guard in the nation.

“She’s just so gifted when the ball is in her hands and in space,” Williams said. “It’s hard to find a player in the country to do what she can do in space. That’s what makes her so unique. When the ball is in her hands and the floor is spaced properly, good things are probably going to happen.”

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While Hofschild’s true shooting percentage is fourth in the Nancy Lieberman list, the volume of shots she takes to achieve her 61.95 true shooting percentage is only rivaled by Clark. While South Carolina’s Te-Hina Paopao slots in at first with a 67.18 TS%, she’s only taken 157 shots. Clark is second with 64.51 TS% on 461 shots; Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon is third with 63.03 TS% on 245 shots; Hofschild comes in fourth but has taken 318 shots this season, making her efficiency that much more impressive.

“Now more than ever, it’s kind of hitting me that there is a limited amount of games left with a limited amount of time that I get with my teammates and my coaches and everything like that,” Hofschild said.

As much as Hofschild is going to miss CSU, she will be missed just as much as by her fans. 

While all good things unfortunately have to come to an end, her influence both on and off the court will remain, especially with her teammates, who are trying to soak up all of the greatness she has to offer.

“I feel like she encourages everyone off the court and talks to everyone and makes sure you know everything,” fellow CSU guard Marta Leimane said.

Hofschild’s impact on the court has been a magical thing during her time at CSU. While she is now enshrined in the Ramdom forever, in an alternate universe, the former Minnesota’s Miss Basketball finalist could have found a home elsewhere. 

More specifically, Seton Hall, where she began her career before transferring to CSU. Fortunately for all who have been blessed to be able to witness her greatness, it was Moby where she truly found her home after only one season for the Pirates. 

“It did not take long for me to realize that this was going to be a place that I could forever call home and I’d meet people that will forever be family to me,” Hofschild said. “So CSU as a school, this basketball program, everyone involved has just been incredible. And four years has flown by because I’ve just loved it so much.”

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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