As we get ready to update the 2022 Extra Elite 100 rankings, we’re going to spotlight possible candidates and today we head out West to feature an athletic infielder who is shining not just on the field, but also in the classroom (to the tune of a 4.45 GPA) and in the community.
Meet Makena Strong who is already being compared by her club coach, Rick Christopher, to a former Lil Rebel player of his who is now competing in the SEC…
Name: MAKENA STRONG
Grad Year: 2022
Club Team: Lil Rebels RC (18U)
High School (City/State): Arbor View High School (Las Vegas, NV)
OnDeck Softball Measurements: Allister Index - 94.10 (Jamboree Invitee)
Preferred College Major: Sports Med/Athletic Training/Physical Training
Charity/Volunteer: Leadership Team - Friends of Rachel, 60 hours of volunteering to include Ronald McDonald House, LV Rescue Mission, HELP of Southern Nevada, YMCA, Communities in Schools, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, Peer Tutoring, Grade School Tutoring.
- Makena is talented at drawing and painting
- she can play all percussion musical instruments
- she has the same jersey number (#34) and nickname (Bird) as Coach Rick Christopher’s daughter, Cali, who is currently at Towson.
Top Academic Honors/Accomplishments: As a freshman, Makena took AP classes as she was selected for the AP Academy, inducted into the National Honor Society and ranked 4th in her class out of 874 students with a 4.45 GPA. As a sophomore, she continues to excel with AP classes and continues to be ranked the same after three quarters being completed.
High School Softball Accomplishments:
* sophomore (2020): Makena was selected as a starting middle infielder on varsity and was batting .883 with one home run and a 1.000 fielding percentage before the high school season was suspended for all high schools in Southern Nevada.
* freshman (2019): was starting shortstop as a freshman on varsity and was instrumental in Arbor View's run in the NIAA Southern Nevada 4A High School Playoffs as the team fell a few games short to making it to the Nevada State Playoffs; Makena batted .308 on the year as to earn her first varsity letter; was selected to play in the Silver State Preps Showcase Game featuring some of the best high school talent in Nevada; also was selected to play in the Junior Silver State Preps Showcase Game two years ago as an eighth grader.
Club Ball Accomplishments:
2019-2020: starting middle infielder for Lil Rebels RC 18U Team, batted over .300 with a .500 OBP in the fall; at the Surf City Fall weekend against elite teams compiled a batting average of .600 and a slugging percentage of .700.
Coach’s Comments: “Makena has been an absolute pleasure to coach as she gets it in the classroom and on the diamond. She is really starting to show signs of having great hands and feet up the middle and she can spray the ball to all fields with power. Makena understands that growth comes with failures and continues to seek out constructive criticism from her coaches. She has a work ethic that is second to none and she reminds me of one of my previous players, Tatum Spangler, who is currently at Kentucky, as she lives in the cage, weight room and on the dirt when it comes to lessons. Makena is definitely committed to her craft and she will be special to watch if she continues down this path.” ---Rick Christopher, Head Coach of Lil Rebels RC 18U
*** Scroll down to learn more about Makena including what she’s doing these days to get busy with school out and softball postponed in Nevada…