Kenzie Worcester is unassuming and humble. By her own admission, she is a County girl and a homebody.
The soft-spoken Husson University senior guard looks much younger than her years, something she readily admits.
“I look so young,” Worcester said.
But don’t let her looks deceive you.
Worcester is the unquestioned leader of the Bangor-based Eagles, who earned their fourth consecutive North Atlantic Conference tournament championship and berth to the NCAA Division III tournament on Saturday.
They face defending national champ Amherst at 7 p.m. Friday in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Worcester has been the NAC tourney Most Valuable Player for four consecutive years. Prior to attending Husson, she led Washburn to four straight state Class D championships.
“I couldn’t envision anything like this, absolutely not,” Worcester said.
“I’ve been really lucky to be a part of these groups of girls who have been so talented and determined and really focused on accomplishing our team goals,” she said.
Husson coach Kissy Walker said Worcester thrives on pressure situations.
“I have never seen her nervous. She is such a steady Eddie who rises to the occasion,” Walker said.
Worcester is all about team, rather than individual, accomplishments.
Joan Overman, a teammate of Worcester at Washburn and Husson, admires her close friend’s approach.
“She always puts her time in, no matter how busy she is,” Overman said. “She’s always worried about the next game, and she does her research to make sure we all know what we’re in for.”
Husson junior Sami Ireland said Worcester inspires and commands respect with her skills, her demeanor and her commitment.
“She’s like a superstar. She is not only amazing at basketball, she leads in every aspect,” Ireland said. “She is a real good friend who would do anything for any of these girls, and it translates onto the court. Not only do we play for ourselves and our teammates, but we also play for her.”
Ireland considers Worcester the “mom” of the team and said she is so well respected because of her big heart.
Worcester is Husson’s No. 2 career scorer with 1,843 points with an average of 16.6 points per game. She has a 47.2 shooting percentage, 39.4 percentage from the 3-point arc and is an 84.2 percent free-throw shooter. She has racked up 340 assists, 224 steals and, in spite of her petite 5-foot-4, 120-pound frame, has grabbed 540 rebounds.
“I love getting rebounds, especially on the offensive boards,” Worcester said. “It’s something I’ve always loved to do.”
Worcester said she enjoys being a leader on the court but is quick to point out the other leaders on the team.
“She has a great way of talking to the girls. She always wants to find ways to do things better as a team and how she can do things better herself,” Walker said. “I don’t know how to put into words the impact she has had on our program.”
Worcester considers the Eagles’ first NCAA tournament win over DeSales in 2017 to be the highlight of her Husson career and feels she has continued to improve.
“I get better skill-wise, but I learn more about the game. Being able to watch film to analyze what you did, what things you could have done better and how you can stop opponents has been huge,” said Worcester, who is a physical therapy major.
The daughter of Larry and Kim (Richardson), and the younger sister of former Washburn and Husson men’s standout Mitch Worcester said she will look back fondly on her Husson career.
“I still talk to all of my high school teammates, and I’ve made lifelong friends here at Husson, too,” said Worcester, who enjoys hanging out with her friends, kayaking, playing sports and hiking.
The NAC Player of the Year is looking forward to Friday’s challenge.
“It’s going to be a tall order but not one we can’t accomplish,” Worcester said. “You look at the game we played against [No. 8] Chicago, [a 64-59 win]. We were all focused and zoned in. We got after every loose ball and boxed [out] hard. If we play with that grit and intensity, we have a chance against Amherst.”