SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Recently graduated Mikh McKinney, who established himself as one of the greatest basketball players in Sacramento State history, signed a professional contract today to play for the Port of Antwerp Giants of the Belgium First Division.
Antwerp's first game takes place Sept. 1, and the team will play 34 regular season games over six-plus months until playoffs begin in March. Antwerp plays in the top division in Belgium, and is a member of the Scooore League. One of McKinney's teammates with Antwerp will be local product Brad Waldow, who recently completed his collegiate career as one of the top players in Saint Mary's history.
McKinney is one of six former Sacramento State men's basketball players expected to play overseas for the upcoming season, a list that includes John Dickson (Columbia), Joel Jones (Puerto Rico), Duro Bjegovic (Slovenia), Angel Alamo (Puerto Rico) and Davon Roberts (Germany). Dylan Garrity, who combined with McKinney to lead the Hornets to a record-breaking season in 2014-15, is expected to sign a contract later this week to play overseas.
"I'm extremely excited to play professionally and begin this next chapter of my life," McKinney said. "I'm very thankful to Sacramento State, my family, Coach Katz, the entire coaching staff and my teammates. Coach Katz took a chance on me, and in three years, moulded me into a leader and the player I've become today."
McKinney completed arguably the greatest season in school history last year. The combo guard and Union City, Calif., native became the first player in program history to compete at the Portsmouth Invitational and College All-Star Game as well as being named an Associated Press honorable mention All-American, Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, a finalist for the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year award, first team all-District 6, unanimous first team all-Big Sky, all-Big Sky Tournament and a four-time Big Sky Player of the Week selection.
McKinney joined Alex Williams (second team Div. II All-American in 1988) and Lynn Livie (honorable mention Div. II All-American in 1965) as the only three Hornet men's basketball players to receive All-America accolades since the University began playing basketball in 1948.
In fact, McKinney had already become Sacramento State's first conference MVP since 1977, the first player in the program's Div. I era to be named first team all-District, and first Hornet in school history to be named unanimous first team all-Big Sky in back-to-back years.
McKinney helped lead Sacramento State to a record-setting season in which the team posted a 21-12 overall record, a 13-5 Big Sky Conference mark, and the program's first postseason berth during the Div. I era when the Hornets qualified for the CIT. He finished the season averaging 19.2 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 steals, a +2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio and 37.0 minutes per game while shooting .507 (219-432) from the field, .430 (65-151) from the 3-point line and .803 (110-137) from the free throw line.
Despite playing just three years with the program (he transferred from Ohlone College prior to his sophomore season), McKinney ranks fourth in Sacramento State history in career points (1,468). In fact, he is the program's all-time leader in points among players that were not in the program for four years. Moreover, he ranks among Sacramento State's career top 10 in 14 different categories.
NOTES -- Another former Hornet, Pablo Gonzales, enjoyed a long and very successful career in Belgium that spanned 10 years from 2001 until 2011. Gonzales played for the Gent Dragons (2001-03) and Okapi Aalstar (2003-11)…McKinney will become the 27th former Sacramento State basketball student-athlete to play professionally overseas.
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