Penn State Basketball: 8-year-old Mackenzie Kelley Intervenes on Tim Frazier's Recovery
Mackenzie Kelley is 8 years old. Like many kids her age, she spends this time of year figuring out the perfect letter to write to Santa in hopes of landing a Christmas haul unlike any other.
But Mackenzie Kelley isn't your average 8 year old.
The Altoona native had her letter ready to go. It was time to send it to the man up north. She and her twin brother Aidan knew what they wanted, and she was ready to keep her fingers crossed.
Then Penn State guard Tim Frazier hurt his left Achilles, rupturing it and ending his senior season before it ever really started.
"We have had season tickets for Penn State men's basketball since Mackenzie and her brother were 2," their mother, Terri Henshaw Kelley, said. "As the kids have gotten older they have become two of the biggest basketball fans around. Mackenzie first met Tim three years ago after the team sponsored a preseason open practice and meet and greet."
"I just remember the sparkle in his eyes when he signed my poster. He was full of spirit and energy," Mackenzie said. "Then after one of the games I went on the court and went over to tell Tim good game and he remembered my name. Out of all of the people he meets he remembered me".
It was that kind of memory that sparked Mackenzie to do a very unselfish, yet very Christmas-spirited thing. She tossed the old letter and wrote a new one.
I just found out my favorite player for Penn State basketball and my friend Tim Frazier has to have surgery and will not be able to play all this year. I am sad. Not being able to play for the rest of the season will be like an eternity for Tim, and this is his senior year to play basketball, but he might be able to play next year as a redshirt. Santa, all I would like for Christmas is Tim Frazier to be able to play basketball for his last year. Santa, I know that you can't make his leg better. The doctors need to do that and Tim needs to be patient and listen to the doctors to get his leg strong again. I am asking you please put in a good word with the people who decide if Tim can redshirt next year. Santa, Tim should definitely be on your good list, please put in a good word for him so I can watch him play his senior year the way he deserves.
Your sad little elf,
A photo of the letter made it to Frazier's Facebook wall, collecting many likes and a warm response from Frazier himself.
"Mackenzie you are the best," Frazier wrote. "Thanks so much. You don't know how much this means to me!!! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I will see you soon"
Luckily for Mackenzie, Frazier plans on applying for a medical redshirt after the season, and for how early the injury came in the season, he ought to be granted a fifth year without issue.
When that happens, then-9-year old Kelley will take her place inside the Bryce Jordan Center with her custom "Timmy time" T-shirt ready to root on her favorite player.