TYLER, Texas (KETK) – When Lufkin alum Natasha Mack was in third grade, as part of a school project, she said her dream was to become a WNBA player.
This coming Thursday, that dream will come true.
Mack is expected to be a first round draft pick in the WNBA.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet, it won’t hit me until my name gets announced, and when that happens that accomplishment, I worked so hard for so it’s everything I ever wanted,” said Mack.
Mack earned this opportunity by excelling at Oklahoma State, where she won five All-American awards, including defensive player of the year.
Accolades she says, would not have been possible, without a grueling workout regiment put together, by her brother.
“My brother was like, no, you are still going to work out we are still going to get it in, and to see how that translates into my game, yeah it played a big part,” said Mack.
“Very proud moment as a big brother, she just had to get her mind straight and now she is going to achieve her dream and we are fixing to make it happen,” said Mack’s older brother Serrick Lee.
There was a time when this reality felt light-years away.
After graduating from Lufkin, she signed a letter of intent with the University of Houston, but never enrolled in classes, and Mack said she fell out of love for the game.
But she got it back, and her mom was always in her corner.
“I’m just happy, I’m overwhelmed, I just thank God because I never gave up and she tells me all the time, mom thank you for not giving up on me,” said Natasha’s mom Bonnie Lee.
“Lose touch with the game, lose the love for it, and so in order to find it back, you know, you’re happy, and so being happy you know it’s like an energy thing,” said Mack.
She found that new energy playing for Angelina College, leading her to Stillwater, and soon, to the WNBA.
“Really legendary, she’s really making history right now, she’s fixing to get drafted, fixing to be lovely, and then she’s just making her dreams come true,” said Serrick Lee.
“I haven’t been able to fully grasp that moment so just the athlete, you know, getting paid to do what I love to do, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Mack.
Mack has her joy for the game back, and her third-grade dream, well, it’s just right up the road.
The WNBA Draft begins at 6:00 p.m. Thursday.