April 20, 2012

McKinney signs LOI

Kevin McCarthy

Mikhael McKinney displayed talent in high school while playing at Washington (Fremont) High. Good things happened when the ball was in his hands. Not so much with books. A grayshirt year at Ohlone College, followed by a successful season on the court in 2011-12 for Coach John Peterson and McKinney is now D-1 bound.

photo of Mikhael McKinney

For the 6-foot-1 McKinney, it's now on to Sacramento State and Coach Brian Katz's Hornet basketball program as his academics are now in order and he evolved his game under Peterson's tutelage.

As for moving up to the capitol city, "it was a good environment and a real good fit for me," McKinney explained. "Coach Katz spent a lot of time with me."

Coach Peterson offered, "I'm excited for him. He'll be able to play both [backcourt] spots in that conference. What they do and where they are going are a very good fit for Mikh."

For Peterson and McKinney, it was a coaching-player partnership that benefited both parties. Ohlone went 8-4 in Coast Confernece North play and 15-12 overall while McKinney scored 14.0 points per game this season on 53%, 41% and 80% shooting respectively, along with 99 assists and 25 steals.

McKinney was fun to watch in high school, knocking down shots from outside and cleverly dribble-driving inside. But his skills set and approach became more purposeful under Peterson.

"My game has changed," McKinney said. "In my senior year, I used to dribble a lot but it was dribbling without purpose."

He added, "I now know to have a reason for a dribble. I've also learned how to read defenses -- I didn't know that in high school. I've learned how to make the right decision at the point."

In his own words, here's what McKinney will bring to Sacramento State: "I'm a ballhandler, who shoots a high percentage, shares the ball, always play hard and shows leadership."

The Hornets are members of the Big Sky Conference.

McKinney has three years of eligibility remaining and he plans to major in psychology.

He wished to thank "my Mom and Pop and Coach Peterson for turning me into a better player."