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Former Alma star McGhee ready for final year at North Arkansas 11/16/22

Former Alma star McGhee ready for final year at North Arkansas

Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 

 

Zoie McGhee couldn’t wait to get her college basketball career started. 

 

Then, as she learned during the first months of the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, the waiting game was something she would have to adapt to. 

 

 "I was by myself a lot,” the third-year North Arkansas College basketball standout said. “You had to find your own motivation. (But) that was when it (COVID) was really serious. We weren’t going to class. We had classes online and through zoom. 

 

“This year is really my first year to go to most of the classes.”

 

McGhee, who had a season-high 11 points during a win over Fort Scott, Kan. last week, is averaging 7.2 points per game through five games. She finished her first full season (2021-22) with 4.0 point game. 

 

Because of COVID, all players were given an extra season.

 

"My freshman year was crappy because we didn't start until January 22nd,” McGhee said. “You had to check in (every day) to see who was positive (with COVID). A lot of our games got canceled, too. Last year we did really well (22-4). 

 

“This year we’ve been trying to keep it up; I think we’ll have a pretty good year.”

 

North Ark (4-1) will next play on Nov. 29 against Fort Scott. 

 

A 2020 Alma graduate, McGhee, and other AHS grads didn’t receive their diplomas until a rare July graduation ceremony held at Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium. “That was kind of cool, though, to be on the football field,” she said. 

 

She opted for North Ark because it felt a lot like high school. 

 

“I chose this school because the coach, Bobby Howard, reminded me of my high school coach (Codey Mann),” McGhee said. “You could tell he cared about his players. Plus, it’s (North Ark) close to Branson, and my parents can come up and visit and we can go to Branson.”

 

No matter how well she plays in 2022-23, McGhee has decided this will be her final season. 

 

“I didn’t plan on coming back this year,” she said. “I was going to go to UCA and do sports medicine; hopefully try and get on with one of the athletic teams.”

 

She had a change of heart, though. 

 

“I was practicing and scrimmaging with the team and decided I wouldn’t give up yet,” McGhee said. “(But) me and my dad (Bradley) talked it through and it’s probably best to start working toward my career.”

 

As for the game itself, the one she showed great improvement in year after year, McGhee says basketball holds a strong bond. 

 

“In high school, it gave me a family,” she said. “All my friends were on the basketball team. Honestly, North Ark is just as big as Alma … so it’s really no different.”