Mackenzie Forrest was on the cusp of a promising collegiate basketball career.
But now, her friends, family and loved ones are preparing to lay her to rest on Thursday following a car accident that ended what one Facebook tribute describes as "her beautiful life."
Forrest was a standout player for Lakewood High School.
Her accomplishments for the squad are spelled out in detail on MacForrest33.com, a website that highlights her athletic prowess.
A "welcome" section on the site finds this introduction from Mackenzie:
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I am looking to grow my life experience and find a college that can both continue to make me excel in the classroom and on the basketball court. Ever since I was in 5th grade, I have wanted to play at the next level. What that level is will be determined by my desire to develop as a student and as an athlete. My ultimate goal is to continue to develop my potential on and off the basketball court.
My goal is to help others on the team achieve their goals, and bring out the best in them for the greater good of the team. And, at the same time have fun!
Her on-the-court prowess is well documented on a YouTube channel assembled by her justifiably proud father.
Here's a 2014 clip of her draining three-pointer after three-pointer....
...as well as compilations of highlights from her seasons in 2013-2014....
...and May 2015:
Also online is an interview segment keyed to her participation in Boulder Rockies basketball.
In it, Mackenzie displays her intelligence and poise.
In the end, Mackenzie decided to attend Regis University, where she was expected to play this fall.
Tragically, she won't get the chance to do so.
According to CW2, quoting a Colorado State Patrol report, she was involved in a single-car accident on eastbound Interstate 70 not far from Frisco.
The accident took place at around 3:25 a.m. Sunday, March 13, when her vehicle drove up an embankment, then returned to the highway, at which point it began rolling — and she was ejected.
Since then, social media has exploded with memorials to Mackenzie in the form of photos like this one....
...and heartfelt testimonials. Here's an example from Colorado Sports Network:
Like many, yesterday I was shocked and saddened to hear via Twitter of the passing of Lakewood Tigers Girls Basketball star Mackenzie Forrest.
According to a statement released by her family, Forrest passed away from injuries sustained from a car accident on I-70. Her death comes way, way too soon, as Colorado hoops fans had just enjoyed watching her play in the Great 8 at the Denver Coliseum, where the Tigers senior and Regis University commit dropped 13 points to again underscore her status as one of Colorado’s best ballers.
Though I had only met and spoken to Forrest a few times throughout my coverage of the Tigers this season—and though I understand this a raw wound for the Forrest family, the Lakewood community, and the Colorado girls basketball landscape as a whole—in the wake of this tragic accident I feel it necessary to note, for the record, the legacy Forrest left behind not only as a baller but as a human being as well. ?#?copreps?
Services for Mackenzie are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, at Christ on the Mountain Catholic Church, 13922 West Utah Avenue in Lakewood.
"Everyone is welcome and please spread the word," a post about the service reads.
We offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Mackenzie Forrest, who are raising funds to establish a "Little Mac" basketball scholarship in her name.
Click here for more details.
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