Earning a five-star rating was ‘big deal’ to Mercy junior Leah Macy

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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She has 36 scholarship offers and is ranked as the nation’s 11th best player in the 2025 recruiting class by ESPN, but what has Louisville Mercy junior Leah Macy the most excited recently is being elevated to a five-star recruit.

“It was a big deal. I really want to be a McDonald’s All-American. That’s my goal. To see that fifth star and go up four spots (to No. 11 in the national rankings), I was like all this hard work is paying off. It was a really good feeling,” said Macy.

“I am not an overly emotional person, so I don’t like to say much about it, but I know to me it is like, ‘Wow.’ I am just going to keep working. I am a very humble person, which I think is a good trait but it is a big deal and very nice to see.”

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Macy is not one to share all her scholarship offers/personal goals. She doesn’t post all her accolades on social media but getting the five-star rating boosted her confidence even more.

“I have always been very confident, but adding another star is a pretty big honor and takes you to another level. Now I just have to keep that ranking up and get that McDonald’s All-American,” Macy said.

The 6-3 wing/power forward has an amazing offer list: Illinois, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, South Florida, Eastern Kentucky, Mississippi State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Murray State, Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida State, Xavier, Dayton, Ohio State, Michigan, DePaul, North Carolina, Harvard, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Belmont, Notre Dame, Alabama, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Wake Forrest, Maryland, TCU, Miami, West Virginia and Nebraska.

She admits recruiting got “crazy” on June 1 when schools could reach out. Many schools made social media graphics saluting her when she became a five-star player.

“That is always really cool that they notice it and reach out. It doesn’t impact recruiting at all because I have always been a high prospect, and playing on the (Nike) EYBL helps me a lot, but it is still for me (being a five-star recruit) it is a big honor, and I am very proud of that,” Macy said.

Numerous coaches wanted to watch Macy in the EYBL play to allow her to showcase more of her perimeter game than she does in high school. However, she had a historic game in the state tournament when a teammate’s injury forced her to become Mercy’s primary ball handler. She responded with 37 points on 11 of 21 shooting from the field and 15 of 20 at the foul line and also had 21 rebounds, two assists and one block in a 70-64 win over Cooper.

She plays with many high-level athletes in Nike EYBL play but knew in summer play with her high school team, she had to take a bigger leadership role.

“I don’t have to go out here and score 50 in the summer. I will go out and score in the season, but I have to allow them (teammates) to take and learn different roles,” Macy said. “I have to allow other teammates to learn through mistakes in the summer. Wins and losses didn’t matter in June.

“I play more of a 4 in EYBL, which is where I will play in college and shoot more 3’s. I don’t do that as much in high school.”

Macy says education will influence her college choice as much as athletics.

“Education is a huge part. I am going for like the 40 years (of life), not just the four (years of basketball). I want to get a degree that after I finish playing basketball and the ball stops bouncing that I can keep doing life. That is a big part finding somewhere where the education is very high,” Macy said.

“I am already getting a very good high school education and I am blessed and want to continue that in college. That is an easier way to narrow it down a little bit. Then comes the relationship with coaches.”

She is visiting some schools this month and wanted to ensure her parents and younger sisters could accompany her.

“Both of my parents are extremely involved in the process, which I am very blessed about. Their phones are blowing up with coaches too. Coaches like to reach out and build relationships with them which I like,” Macy said.

Obviously, both Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy and Louisville coach Jeff Walz see Macy as a priority recruit. She could move into the top 10 of the national rankings after the way she played at Nike Nationals in Chicago.

Macy would like to add to her already impressive legacy by becoming the all-time leading rebounder in Kentucky. She has 1,097 rebounds in 111 games over the last four years along with 2,027 points.

Macy would like to reach 2,000 rebounds — something no other Kentucky high school girl has ever done and become the first female with 2,000 points and 2,000 rebounds ever in Kentucky.

The state’s all-time leading rebounder is Sherry Gish of Muhlenberg Central, who had 1,978 rebounds — 881 more than Macy, who averaged almost 13 rebounds per game last year. Macy has had a combined 841 rebounds over the previous two seasons.