McCarn, Storey bring northeast Arkansas to northwest Tennessee at UT Martin
MARTIN, Tenn. (KAIT) - It’s been quite the success story for Melbourne great Kenley McCarn. She won four State Titles with the Bearkatz and is already making an impact at the Division I level with UT Martin.
The forward has dropped 65 points over her first three Division I basketball games: 31 in the season opener against Troy, 19 against Arkansas State and 15 at Missouri.
She is part of a unique roster that has a bit of Northeast Arkansas flair to it. McCarn joins Mountain View alum Josie Storey in northwest Tennessee, two rivals turned teammates.
“We’ve been rivals and I’ve always just wanted to beat her in high school and it’s just been weird,” Storey laughed. “It’s been hard to be like ‘that’s my teammate now.’”
“If you would’ve asked me that I would be good friends with Josey Storey, I would’ve told you you were crazy,” McCarn added with a laugh. “But honestly, I mean, I love her to death, and me and her get jokes pulled on us all the time in practice from Coach [Kevin] McMillan because we’re from Arkansas.”
But Arkansas has a special place in Martin head coach Kevin McMillan’s heart. The Skyhawk’s all-time leader in wins grew up in Arkadelphia.
“I’ve loved this state forever and I’m just thrilled that we’ve got some Arkansas kids that are coming to play for us,” he said.
It’s clear the Natural State means a lot to McMillan. He says the state continues to improve on the hardwood, and it’s showing. Both McCarn and Storey are seeing the court as true freshmen.
“Really focusing on effort, that’s what Coach McMillan teaches,” Storey said. “If you give your best, we’re going to do fine and if things go bad, we did it the way he wanted to.
McMillan knew early on he wanted Storey and McCarn on his roster. The head coach entering his 14th season recruited them very early on in their high school careers.
“I probably started recruiting Kenley after her freshman year and got to know her and Kenley, we kind of hit it off as coach and a player,” McMillan said. “She knew pretty quickly this is where she wanted to come play. Josie’s got the ability to change a game and we recruited her kind of around the same timing and we’re fortunate. Josie has said she wants to learn how to be a great teammate, what she needs to do to work hard and the kid comes in every day and she goes to work.”
As for McCarn, the four-time state champion and three-time Finals MVP, ‘winning’ is the first word that pops into McMillan’s mind.
“She’s a winner and she comes from a winning program, she comes from a winning family,” he said. “You want to surround yourself with winners and it’s contagious.”
“Coach McMillan told me, we had a meeting and he told me that he believed in me and he wanted me to play my game and he’s helped me adjust it how it needs to be adjusted,” McCarn added. “I think me and him are getting on the same level a little bit better so seeing that come out in a good way has been good.”
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