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Gorham native awarded Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors

Mackenzie Holmes is a senior forward for the Indiana Hoosiers women's basketball team and is a candidate for the John R. Wooden National Player of the Year award.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that Gorham native Mackenzie Holmes earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as a member of the Indiana University women’s basketball team.

Holmes is a senior forward and is the first Indiana student-athlete ever chosen for the award. She graduated from Gorham High School in 2019 where she helped Gorham to two state championships, a state runner-up finish, and also won the state's Gatorade Player of the Year during her senior season.

Holmes and the Hoosiers head into the Big Ten Conference Tournament as the number-one seed. Their first game is on March 3 at 12:30 p.m. in Minnesota where they will face the winner of Thursday's game between Nebraska and Michigan State. 

Holmes leads the Big Ten in blocked shots (1.9 BPG) and ranks seventh in the conference in rebounding (7.4 RPG). As a team, Indiana leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (60.9 PPG) and blocked shots (4.6 BPG) and ranks second in field goal percentage defense (.390).

In January, Holmes earned a spot in the top 20 of the John R. Wooden Award Late Season list. The Wooden Award is given to the NCAA Women’s basketball player of the year and is the sport’s most prestigious honor. The winner will receive it following the NCAA Tournament in April.

Holmes is climbing her way up Indiana’s all-time scoring list with 1,852 career points, which ranks sixth in school history, and 753 career rebounds. The Gorham, Maine native is also third all-time in blocked shots (185). This season, Holmes has also earned recognition on the 2023 Lisa Leslie Award preseason watch list and the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy women’s watch list.

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