WHITEHALL — Whitehall senior McKena Coron didn’t go to Cornerstone University expecting an offer to play basketball, but when she got one she jumped on it, joining the program from the NAIA school.
Coron caught up with Golden Eagles coach Jessica Yonkers near the end of her school visit and shared some of her game footage with the coach, not expecting to hear anything in return. After all, the team only had two spots open at that time.
“I was really overwhelmed…I was completely unprepared,” Coron said. “It was really exciting when I got the offer. I thought I was never going to hear anything, to be honest.
Coron already wanted to go to Cornerstone, as his career goal is to enter the ministry. The chance to play basketball is a huge bonus.
Cornerstone’s offer to Coron is a bet on her demonstrated ability to become a better player. Vikings coach Derek Westerlund said Coron is a prime example of perseverance. She barely made it to the JV team as a rookie, but by the end of her sophomore year, she was a key entry into that team. She followed a similar path in college, not playing much as a junior, but working herself into a position where she rarely left the floor as a senior. Her defensive abilities in particular were invaluable for Whitehall, and despite being lightweight, she was the team’s second-best rebounder, showing tenacity and a desire to mix it all up.
Her success comes from the same thing that drew her to Cornerstone’s hoops program: a love of the game.
“I love basketball, whether I play on the court for one minute or all 32 minutes,” Coron said. “I love basketball. I just want to be on a team and be a competitor and play the game.”