Jimmy Mckinney is a 28 year old 192cm guard from St Louis. He is a is a solid knock-down shooter, but also can score from penetration and with rim-rattling dunks. He played at Vashon High School winning the State tournament three times. He played at Missouri from 2002-2006 with well known players like Ricky Paulding, Travon Bryant and Jason Conley. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 12.6ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.3apg, FG: 40.6%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 78.2%. He turned professional in 2006 and joined the Deutsche Bank Skyliners. In his rookie season, he played 30 games averaging 12.3ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.6apg, 2FGP: 44.9%, 3FGP: 38.5%, FT: 77.2%. Mckinney played six seasons in Frankfurt playing a total of 215 games. Today it was announced that he had signed a two year contract with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. German Hoops had a chat with the American about his decision to leave the Fraport Skyliners.
The shock news came today for Skyliner fans that you had left them for the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg. How tough was it making this decision?
It was a tough decision. I had been with the Fraport Skyliners for six years and I had felt very comfortable with the organization. They had always treated me so well. The fans showed so much love for me in the six years, but it was a family decision to go.
Was the deciding factor at the end like so often in life money?
Like I said it was a family decision. It was a really tough decision. My agents Jamie Knox and Goran Kuzmanovic worked very hard for me this summer and had 7or 8 offers from BBL and Europe. I also had offers with more money. I sat down with my fiance and we wanted to come back to Frankfurt, but we just decided to go elsewhere. We made this decision together.
If money hadn´t been a factor would you have stayed in Frankfurt?
Of course I wanted to come back. I had been playing in Frankfurt for six years. Gunnar Wobke and Kamil Novak are close friends of mine. The fans were the most important to me and were always behind me. I would of stayed if it hadn´t been for the money.
You played six years in Frankfurt. What will you never forget?
I will never forget the Fraport Skyliner fans and organization. They were always supportive of me in ups and downs. Even when I was injured or was playing bad, the fans were there for me and I won´t forget that. They always stuck behind me.
Who was your favorite Skyliner teammate?
There isn´t really one particular guy that I can point out. I had great German teammates like Pascal Roller, Dominik Bahiense De Mello, Marius Nolte or Johannes Herber. I also had great American teammates like Derrick Allen, Dashaun Wood, QuantezRobertson or Aubrey Reese.
How excited are you about going to the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg?
I am very excited. I am going to an organization that wanted me. They stuck out their hand and heart to get me. They are a great team that play hard and they beat Alba Berlin in the playoffs. I am familiar with guys like John Little, Chester Frazier and Jason Boone. Wurzburg is really a good situation for me. I just want to fit in. I can´t wait to play for their fans, because there was always a special atmosphere there.
Will you have less pressure in Wurzburg?
Pressure isn´t the problem. Pressure is everywhere Miles. Every organization wants to win and there is pressure everywhere. It was a time for change. The Wurzburg coach called me and we had a long conversation. He said some great things that I could understand. Wurzburg is a great fit for me.
What will be the first thing that you will ask John Little in training camp?
Lets get it and win.
So you won´t be afraid of his defense in practice?
I am not afraid of anyone.
You were a scorer in Frankfurt. Will your role change in Wurzburg?
I am a scorer and always was. Scoring is what I do. Any team knows exactly what they will get from me. I like to shoot and play defense. Wurzburg have good defenders so that will make my job easier.
How does a summer workout plan look like for Jimmy Mckinney?
I get up at 10am and get to the gym at 10:30. I lift weights and then do some work out drills. After that I just play. I get into some pick up games. Players like Darius Miles, Larry Hughes and Lorenzo Gordon take part in the games.
How proud are you of your ex teammate Ilian Evtimov for winning three titles in France?
Wow I didn´t know that. I am very happy for him. He came to a good situation after a tough last season in Frankfurt. Look at him now. He is successful.
Will your St Louis Cardinals make the MLB playoffs?
Of course they will. They are at 500 now, but will be all right.
Why was this the year of the Miami Heat?
I think that they deserve to win it all. They have been playing well in the playoffs. The Heat have been playing together, but its not over until its over. The Thunder are back at home and if they win that then anything is possible. I think though that the Miami Heat will pull through. I am rooting for the Heat.
Thanks Jimmy for the chat. Good luck in Wurzburg.