East Carolina’s Heather Macy has a contagious smile. With her squad off to a 7-3 start, she’s smiling a lot to tip off the 2016-17 season.
“They are working hard,” Macy said on my weekly radio show on Pirate Radio 1250 & 930. “They are a tight knit group and really like playing with one another.”
Macy’s Pirates opened the season with a 107-40 win over her alma mater, Greensboro College. The only three losses were to Auburn, West Virginia and Charlotte.
“Auburn and West Virginia are quality, ranked teams,” Macy said. “Auburn was by far our worse loss of the year last season, including the games with UConn. I was pleased with how we played [this season] in falling to Auburn.”
Macy knows the road ahead will be a challenging one. She also hopes to avoid three games with four-time defending national champion Connecticut, which has happened the last two seasons.
I joked with her that playing UConn that much was ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’
Macy agreed, laughing.
Macy was most appreciative of the support she’s gotten from the Pirate Nation and all of Eastern North Carolina in her seven seasons. She’s 114-76 in her career at ECU.
“I really appreciate all of the support we have gotten in building the program,” she said.
Macy is most proud of her team’s service hours. The East Carolina women’s basketball team works with Greenville’s special needs baseball league and with Senior Olympics in Pitt County.
I’ve seen the ladies working with the children and adults in the Exceptional Community Baseball League for several years.
I pointed out in the show that the ECU women never had a stopwatch on their work. They were there to help, and they genuinely enjoyed the assignment. The players certainly enjoyed the ladies as well.
Women’s basketball is much different than the men’s game.
Macy likes it that way.
“It’s just different,” she said. “We aren’t trying to be the men’s game. We want it to be different. We want it to be fan friendly. We enjoy interacting with the fans and certainly appreciate all of them.”
Macy and company visit Richmond this week before returning home to take on Southern just after Christmas.
East Carolina opens the American Athletic Conference campaign when Tulane pays a New Year’s Eve visit to Williams Arena.
The Pirates’ next game takes them to UConn.
Macy just doesn’t want to see the Huskies three times this season.