For years, Macy Beinborn remembers sitting behind the home players' bench at Augustana's Carver Center, going into locker rooms after games and attending basketball camps during the summer.
So the Pleasant Valley senior doesn't expect to be too overwhelmed by the moment when the Spartans take on the Geneseo Maple Leafs in the sixth game of the IHMVCU Shootout on Saturday, part of a day featuring seven girls basketball games between teams from Iowa and Illinois.
"It just feels like home now because I've been going there since second grade," Beinborn said. "I'm really excited."
Beinborn knows the Augustana campus so well because of her father, Mark, who is the head coach of the Augustana women's basketball team and has been with the program for 11 years.
With that basketball background, Macy has been a big part of Pleasant Valley's undefeated start, averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game, second on the team in both categories. She also leads the MAC with 28 made 3s and is hitting from behind the arc at a 33.7 percent rate.
"She has a huge role for us, not just her scoring ability but her basketball intelligence that she brings to the court," PV head coach Jennifer Goetz said. "She knows how to keep the floor spaced, she knows how to hit cutters, defensively where to be, and I think all of that comes from continuing to grow every single year and being around the game."
It wasn't until this year that Beinborn got her chance to really showcase her game. With seven seniors on last year's team, including two Division I players, Beinborn's minutes were limited and she averaged 1.9 points per game.
"We knew this class was extremely talented, but when you have two classes like we did back to back that were so strong, that's a lot of kids," Goetz said. "I think it goes to show for everyone in the program that if you trust the process and continue to work hard, good things are going to happen to you.
There were some days that it was tough to sit on the bench, but Beinborn always had her father to turn to.
"There were a couple times where we would talk about it and he would help me see things the way they were," Beinborn said. "Being stronger, being patient were the big things, and waiting my turn."
Now getting a chance to shine, all the hard work and patience is proving to be worth it.
"It really did pay off," Beinborn said. "It's really fun."
Saturday won't be Beinborn's first full foray on the college basketball court after playing in the shootout last year, nor will it be her last as she's planning to attend Augustana next fall and play basketball for her father.
It was a tougher choice than one might think, with Beinborn debating the pros and cons for some time.
Ultimately, she knew where she wanted to end up.
"I realized that there were so many pros for Augie," Beinborn said. "I knew that if I played anywhere else, my dad would probably never get to see me play basketball again. ... That was really hard for me to think about."
Some athletes may not want to play for a parent. Beinborn doesn't think that will be an issue, having played on AAU teams coached by her father.
"I know that playing for him is a good thing because I know a lot of times it's hard for kids to play for their dad because it's hard to balance the coaching with the dad aspect," Beinborn said. "That was always really clear for us. ... It works really well, and it's really comfortable playing for him."
Now, she can focus on helping PV continue this run to start the season, including Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs, who, like the Spartans, have enjoyed a strong start thanks to a stingy defense.
"Geneseo is such a good team, and I know it's going to be a good matchup. We're so similar," Beinborn said. "They have good shooters; we shoot pretty well. We both like to run up and down the court. It's going to be a really fun game."