Greenville’s Blinn is city’s top sharp-shooter since Annie Oakley

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Greenville’s Macie Blinn is the school’s first Big Ten basketball player and all-time leading scorer. She will play at Illinois.

Annie Oakley was Greenville’s original ‘Little Sure Shot’. Eighty years later, there’s a new sharp-shooter in town. Greenville High School senior Macie Blinn might not have the
nickname, but she shares the aim that would make the legendary Oakley
proud. Saturday Blinn wrapped her Green Wave career as the school’s
all-time leading scorer — both boys and girls. Now it's on to Illinois.


Annie Oakley was Greenville’s original ‘Little Sure Shot’. Eighty years later, there’s a new sharp-shooter in town.

Greenville High School senior Macie Blinn might not have the
nickname, but she shares the aim that would make the legendary Oakley
proud. Blinn wrapped up her Green Wave career Saturday as the school’s
all-time leading scorer — both boys and girls — and recently topped her
record for points in a game with 42.

And, just like Oakley, Blinn has drawn plenty of attention for her
exploits. She’s seen box-and-one defenses with triple-team traps and
constant double teams.

“It’s a compliment,” Blinn said of the efforts to stop her. “I kind
of learn from it and it helps me get better in the future. Sometimes
it’s a little frustrating. But I try to keep my composure and not let
them be able to tell.”

Blinn, who will become Greenville’s first Big Ten basketball player
when she heads off to the University of Illinois this fall, finished
her high school career with 1,512 points. She scored 25 in her final
high school game, a 54-43 loss to Centerville in the D-I Troy sectional
on Saturday. Her 42 points against Lima Shawnee on Jan. 26 is also a
school record, topping her 41 as a sophomore.

“She has the ability to take the game over,” said Greenville coach Tom Rettig. “She had 22 (against Shawnee) in the fourth quarter.”

The rest of her team had seven points in that fourth quarter.

Points have never been the objective for Blinn, who also carries a 3.78 grade-point average. She’d gladly trade a few baskets for a few more wins, especially with the postseason here.

“You think about it sometimes,” Blinn said of her career scoring mark. “It’s not as important as winning games. I don’t really talk about it too much. After I got the record it was kind of like, now I can go out and have fun. … In practice I try to become the best player I can be and help out my teammates. If (opponents) stop me I can pass the ball so they can score.”

Blinn, a 6-foot-1 wing, started playing YMCA basketball at age five and AAU ball at age nine. Getting that Division I scholarship was always the goal for the volleyball, basketball and softball standout.

“I kept going and I kept improving. I just wanted to be able to play Division I ball,” she said. “I kept getting letters and they were really interested. On the first day we could get mail I had like 40 letters. I wasn’t expecting that much.”

Illinois won out over offers from Miami, Dayton and Ball State and visits to Ohio State and Vanderbilt. A change in Illinois’ coaching staff didn’t sway Blinn, who looks forward to playing in coach Jolette Law’s up-tempo style. Law knows something about talent, too. As an assistant at Rutgers, eight of her 10 recruiting classes ranked among the top 10 in the nation and three were ranked No. 1. The Scarlet Knights reached two Final Fours — including the national title game in 2007 — three Elite Eights and three Sweet Sixteens. Law, who played at Iowa, also played with the Harlem Globetrotters.

“The campus was real nice,” Blinn said. “The coaches and the players were really cool. The coaches are all gone now, but I still like the new coaches a lot. When they got the new coach I was real excited because she played for the Harlem Globetrotters and she’s a real good coach.”

For now, Blinn is concentrating on getting a few more wins for the Green Wave. Greenville (7-12) faces a tough challenge in Centerville (12-8) at Troy High School.

“She has outstanding knowledge of the game,” Rettig said. “She plays all the time and obviously that makes a difference. … She’s up there among the best. She has the ability to create, the ability to shoot and the ability to guard.”

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