One of the top overall prospects in Arizona's 2024 Class is a 3-sport star in the making and resides in Northern Arizona. Boulder Creek High School's 6-foot-2, 185-pound rising junior guard Rowan McKenzie is a superb athletic talent that has excelled in each sport he plays, and is now regarded as one of the top guard prospects in the state. While still young, McKenzie is developing quickly into a superior talent in several sports and will carve out an excellent athletic high school career for himself, building a looming decision that he will need to make in the future, regarding which sport he will ultimately play in college.
I had heard the name Rowan McKenzie well before he ever entered the high school ranks, as he was already building a strong reputation for himself as an athlete in Northern Arizona in middle school. By the time he entered his freshman basketball season two years ago, I was looking for him in anticipation. Now, two years later, he has become one of my favorite overall athletes in the state. An impressive athletic talent that will be able to play several sports in college, and will need to decide which route to take for himself.
Last season as a sophomore, McKenzie had a breakout season, as he helped to make Boulder Creek one of the top teams in the state's 6A Division, as they finished with a 23-9 overall record on the season - a dramatic improvement from the COVID-stricken season a year before, when the program had a losing and shortened season (4-11). Boulder Creek would reach the 6A State Semi-Finals last season - losing to Hamilton HS in the semi's, 61-55. McKenzie was the leader for the program as a sophomore, as he led the team in numerous statistical categories, and this was after joinging the team late from the football season. McKenzie averaged 16 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per/game as a sophomore - setting him up for his best effort to date as a junior, where he should take his game to the next level.
McKenzie never gets to rest, as he is a 3-sport star in the making. He is among the elite young quarterbacks in the state in football with a cannon for an arm, and is also a short-stop and pitcher in baseball. To achieve his maximum peak performance as an athlete for all 3-sports, McKenzie and his basketball teammates travel from Northern Arizona to Tempe, Arizona, throughout the week to train at Explosive Athlete Institute with top-rated pro trainer Sidd Sharma, and have done so for months now - looking to gain maximum explosiveness for the high school season. McKenzie works hard all year long on his body and crafts, so he will be well-prepared for the rigors of college athletics.
The Boulder Creek team is set to have an excellent season in 2023, behind the strong play of McKenzie and an experienced team that will return this high school season. McKenzie will get excellent support this high school season from 5-foot-11 senior guard ESPN Polanski, one of the top shooters in the state, 6-foot-1 senior guard Dylan Spilde and 5-foot-11 senior guard Carson Gates, as the team will be guard heavy, after losing much of their experienced size to graduation. The team will play fast and will have no problems scoring the basketball this season. They will, however, need to rebound as a team to make up for a dominant low-post threat.
McKenzie is a combo-guard prospect that is able to play both guard positions, but I see him as a shooting guard, as a result of his ability to score and shoot the basketball. While he is a very good facilitator for his team, at the college level he will be best suited as a 2, able to catch and shoot the basketball or make a play for himself off the dribble. He is a very good shooter of the basketball with range and a pure shooting stroke. He has great lift on his shot and can get his shot off nicely against bigger defenders. He is a good ball handler, as he is fundamentally sound, and also a willing passer that enjoys finding the open man on the floor. He pushes the ball ahead to the open man as well, and is a nice threat in the secondary break.
It will be very interesting to see where McKenzie ultimately lands for college and which sports he decides to pursue full-time in college, if he does. He could definitely decide to play multiple sports in college, and it will not be an adjustment for McKenzie who has excellent work ethic, on and off the field or court. McKenzie is also an excellent student and carries a 3.54 CUM GPA.