Current Pacer basketball player's grandmom played pro baseball

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Tuesday February 5, 2013

Most college athletes have a deep sports gene pool. Parents and so on usually played the same sport. For USC Aiken's Mackenzie Reese, she's the only basketball player in her family. But she does have a grandmother who probably passed on some good genes.

Saturday night the Pacers Mackenzie Reese hit the shot of a lifetime, a buzzer beater to win a basketball game. You would think basketball would be in her genes. Nope, but baseball, yea with her grandmother.

"I guess I really found out more about it when I was about six or seven" said Mackenzie Reese "You know, when I got started with tee-ball, you know I knew she was good, I know she had an arm, she could still throw to me in the back yard when she was in her 70's which was kind of cool."

Dorothy Sarazan Smith played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1950. Yes, probably made famous by the movie A League Of Their Own.

"There's no crying in baseball...there's no crying in baseball!" from the movie A League Of Their Own

"While the guys were at war, the women got a chance to play which was cool. I try to relate it to that movie and yea, a lot of it's not too off from what actually happened."

The league played during the war years and Reese's grandma played one year, in 1950, in South Bend, Indiana. She was pretty darn good before they signed her to pro ball.

"I knew she was playing with the men. She had her brother on the team with her but she, I saw the old newspaper clippings and it's just so cool to read on an all mens team the female ace pitcher Dorothy Sarazen Smith..I'm like, that's my grandma!"

Mackenzie's pretty much convinced as well, her athletic genes come from her grandma, not from her parents.

"I think so and I think maybe my height skipped a generation as well because I'm taller then my parents and my grandma was pretty tall."

Mackenzie and her mother are headed to New York later this year and are hoping to go to cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. There's an exhibit on the women's league and will look to see if there's anything related to her grandmother in there

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