Giants star shines as MVP

By Rory Coleman-Heard – The Kalgoorlie Miner
20th August 2019

Things are finally looking up for Kalgoorlie-Boulder basketball star Mackenzie Clinch-Hoycard, who was recognised as the most valuable player in the Goldfields Giants’ division one women’s side on Sunday night.

Clinch-Hoycard averaged 16.1 points a game and earned selection in the competition’s All-Star side, free of the foot concerns that plagued her during an 18-month stint with the University of Hawaii.

Having returned to her native town for surgery to repair the troublesome injuries, Clinch-Hoycard said it was nice to realise the fruits of her painstaking labour.

“You always want to win an award like that, and I guess it kind of shows that your hard work does pay off in the end,” Clinch-Hoycard said.

“I didn’t really know how this year was going to pan out, to be honest.

“I was kind of planning on getting through the year, depending on how my injury held up, which I’m really happy to have done.”

Clinch-Hoycard was targeted by seven State Basketball League clubs and another organisation from Melbourne, but rejected their advances to ease back into action with the Giants.

Convinced her body can once again withstand the rigours of competitive basketball, it is likely Clinch-Hoycard will move on to bigger and better things next year.

“I am considering (playing in the SBL) and currently trying to figure out teams, but I haven’t figured everything out yet because I’ve still got a bit of time,” Clinch-Hoycard said.

“I’m just focusing on the next domestic season first and we’ll go from there.

“In terms of the injury, there is still a bit of pain sometimes, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

“I can lift up trainings a bit more and get a bit more involved again.”

Goldfields coach Rob Thomson said it was crucial the club found a way to retain players of Clinch-Hoycard’s calibre.

“She is going to be pretty hard to keep here in Kal with potential offers from other SBL teams,” Thomson said.

“With the amount of talent we’ve had coming through over the years, the Giants need to push hard to get our own (female) SBL team, so we can keep these sorts of players locally.

“She was right up there with the best players in the competition, and we were very lucky to have her.”

Thomson was just as complimentary of 16-year-old Kiriana Hawaikirangi, who finished second in the count behind Clinch-Hoycard.

“She showed maturity well beyond her age,” Thomson said.

“For one of our juniors to step up the way she did, it was a credit to herself and teammates.

“When she got her opportunities, she took them and worked her way into the starting five.”

The consistent Gaby Clancy, who was Goldfields’ second-highest scorer with 9.3 points a game, finished in third place.