Written by assistant coach Max Sass
Former Cardinal standout Jack Mackey, '16, will continue his basketball career with the Irish National League team LYIT Donegal.
Mackey (Warwick, N.Y.), who made a program record 77 three-pointers during the 2014-15 season, was selected as one of 23 Victory Scholars by the Sport Changes Life Foundation. In addition to playing basketball, he will be pursuing a master's degree in Financial Technology from Letterkenny IT and mentoring in-need youths.
"I am so grateful to have the opportunity to continue my basketball career and education in Ireland," Mackey said. "Working with Sport Changes Life and their partners gives me the incredible opportunity to help in-need youth around Ireland.
"Basketball has impacted my life in such a great way, to be able to use the sport I love to help mentor young people of Ireland is truly special."
A two-time captain at Wesleyan, Mackey helped lead Wesleyan to the 2014-15 NESCAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. As a senior, he helped guide the Cardinals to 18 victories and a share of the Little Three Championship.
"My time at Wesleyan, playing under Coach (Joe) Reilly, helped grow both the skill and IQ aspects of my game to a point where I feel comfortable playing anywhere," Mackey said. "The wide variety of offensive and defensive schemes we ran, the constant challenge of playing against NESCAC teams and playing alongside the greatest teammates in the world, I believe, has given me the tools needed to be successful on this side of the Atlantic."
Mackey spent his first week overseas with the other Victory Scholars in Belfast, Northern Ireland learning about the conflicts of past and present and the challenges Belfast's youth face on a daily basis. He will live for the remainder of the year in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland
"From a cultural and non-basketball perspective, the diversity of Wesleyan's student body and curriculum has made transitioning into a different country and culture incredibly smooth," Mackey said. "I am so grateful to be able to represent Wesleyan during my time in Ireland, both on and off the court."
Sport Changes Life recently partnered with the professional golfer Rory McIlroy's The Rory Foundation. According to the Sport Changes Life website, the organization "aims to raise the aspirations of young people through sporting excellence, vocational and academic achievement and personal development. We wish to change the lives of disadvantaged and disengaged young people through the medium of sport by building self-belief, achieving success and shaping a person's future."
More information on Sport Changes Life, the Victory Scholar Program and Jack's trip (a blog following his progress is expected shortly) can be found at sportchangeslife.com.
Highlights from Mackey's senior season can be found HERE.
Mackey was one of four men's basketball seniors to graduate from Wesleyan in 2016. BJ Davis (Hamden, Conn.) is currently working as an account executive at ANC Sports Enterprises in White Plains, N.Y. Joe Edmonds (Oklahoma City, Okla.) is an Incoming Corporate Project Assistant for the law firm Proskauer Rose in New York City, while Rashid Epps (Harlem, N.Y.) is also in New York City, working in the technology division of Goldman Sachs.