On a Labor Day weekend, a long time Greenville Kroger employee surprises one of the stores bread vendors when she shares that she used to play point guard for the O’Bannon Lady Waves about 15 years ago.
Like many who frequent this popular grocery shopping location, they know Marci McIntosh from her 14-year career at the store and her current position as the floral department manager.
But not only did she play for the Lady Waves, McIntosh was a varsity starter as an eighth grader and a foundational piece for the building of the Lady Waves 21st Century program. “It was tough back then because I remember one season where we had only five players,” she recalled. “And when one player would foul out, we still had to play against other teams shorthanded.”
McIntosh always had talent when it came to handling and scoring the basketball.
She developed a feel for the game playing pickup games against boys at the Rounds Park Recreation Center in her formative years which led to her effectiveness in O’Bannon’s games. And as a young player, she was asked to carry much responsibility particularly when Lindsey Rucker took over as head coach during her sophomore year. “
I learned a lot under Coach Rucker, and he was tough because he was trying to get the Lady Waves back to being competitive and playing for a state title,” McIntosh said. “The one thing that I learned from him is that a point guard communicates not only with words but with understanding where the ball should go and where the rest of your teammates should be on the court.”
There were dozens of big moments, heated rivalries and pressure packed game situations. Even though it has been 15 years since she last played for O’Bannon, McIntosh sifted through all the memories to highlight a few very special ones. “The best game that I had was when I hit a buzzer beater to beat St. Joe during my tenth-grade year,” she said. “And there was no team that I wanted to beat more than Greenville High.”
Coahoma Community College gave McIntosh a scholarship to play in Clarksdale once she finished her senior year at O’Bannon in 2006. But a ligament injury cut her basketball carrier short. But perhaps the bread vendors encouragement in conformation for thoughts that this former prep star has been entertaining for a decade and a half.
“He suggested that I start and coach a team or even go back to school and play,” McIntosh said. “I think about those things all the time, even actually going trying to walk on a college team and later become a high school coach. I don’t get much time to play right now because of my work schedule, but I think I can still put up 25 points and five or six assists.”