BJ McKie is USC’s all-time leading basketball scorer. New Gamecock basketball coach Frank Martin is hoping the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree after offering McKie’s son, 6-foot-4 Justin McKie of Irmo.
The McKies met with Martin on Monday at his office, and the offer was made. Justin is a senior shooting guard.
While it never hurts to have a famous father to help open doors, BJ said Justin earned this offer on his own.
“My son works extremely hard and people are going to say 'He’s BJ’s son' and that type of thing, but his play on the court will speak for itself,” BJ said. “He’s heard it all, 'You’re not going to be as good as your dad.' He’s persevered through those times. He has a chip on his shoulder, and I told him he should have a chip on his shoulder. He always says he wants to be better than me, and he can be.”
The elder McKie played 11 seasons of pro ball overseas and currently is an assistant coach at Charleston Southern. He has a critical eye for talent including when it comes to his son.
“He competes. He’s a winner,” McKie said. “All the scoring and everything else takes care of itself. That’s what he brings to the court, competiveness and the will to win.”
Like so many sons who have the chance to follow in their father’s footsteps, Justin McKie will have to decide if he can live with playing in his father’s shadow at USC or if he wants to blaze his own trail elsewhere.
“That’s something Justin is going to have to figure out on his own,” BJ McKie said. “I’m going to lead him a certain way but it’s ultimately Justin’s decision. Just because he got offered by South Carolina and just because I went to South Carolina, and just because he grew up in South Carolina doesn’t necessarily mean Justin’s going to go to South Carolina. He has a few more offers at some great universities. We’re going to go through the recruiting process just like it was anybody else.”
The McKies will visit Murray State this weekend. They will also visit Appalachian State and have been talking to Wichita State, Memphis, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.
No decision has been made about when to sign.