Athlete of the week: Junior girls basketball player makes scoring splash for Hamilton Southeastern


Hamilton Southeastern High School junior basketball player Maya Makalusky knew it would be an adjustment playing without her “Splash Sister.”

Her sister, Riley Makalusky, graduated from HSE last spring and is a freshman basketball player for Butler University.

Maya Makalusky, who has committed to play for Indiana University, needed to step up her scoring and is delivering. Prior to a Dec. 16 game at Fishers High School, the 6-foot-4 forward was averaging 28.2 points for the Royals (10-1). She averaged 15.4 points as a sophomore and 13.4 points as a freshman.

Makalusky is the only returning starter for the Royals, who finished 21-3 last season and lost to Fishers in the sectional final.

“It was definitely a big adjustment having all those girls leaving,” Makalusky said. “Stepping up to a leadership role looks different in a lot of ways, not only scoring but being more vocal and stepping up in all these little aspects. It looks like we fill those gaps pretty well. We need to get better and better.”

Makalusky said it helped to watch how her sister served as a leader.

“I saw how positive she was,” Makalusky said. “She made it fun and really connected with everyone. She helped direct everyone on the court.”

Makalusky said being vocal comes naturally.

“I think it comes with being social,” she said. 

Royals coach Brian Satterfield said Makalusky’s approach to improving her game was taken to another level. 

“During the offseason, she was always in the gym trying to improve her game,” Satterfield said. “She has added different dimensions to her game each year. Her freshman year she was basically a shooter. Sophomore year, she became better attacking off the dribble and adding a post-up game by the end of the year. This year, Maya has improved her first step to attack off the dribble, has added a pull-up jumper and sees the floor better to find her teammates.

“As a coach, it has been fun to watch her game grow and see how versatile she is as a player.”

Makalusky said if the team continues to work on defense and rebounding, it will all come together by sectional time.

“We have great screeners, we have passers and we have shooters,” she said. “We have defenders and rebounders. We just have to see how we fit these pieces to eventually win sectionals, win state, all these great things we want to achieve.”

Makalusky is shooting 52 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range.

“I’ve added more mid-range shots to my game,” she said. “Overall, I’m going to the gym and getting shots up to stay consistent. It’s just making sure when you get to the game, it’s muscle memory at that point.”

Favorite athletes: Caitlin Clark and Cameron Brink.

Favorite subject: Science

Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”