Even if the two players are long gone and with the fast paced basketball seasons coming and going with so many games a season it may seem as long ago as the last time American singer Mariah Carey hit the number one spot on the Billboard charts as one can remember Jimmy Mckinney firing home three pointers over his buddy Rickey Paulding or Alex King having his break out game in Giessen and always bringing that energy on both sides of the court when these two fine players were playing for the Frankfurt Skyliners as they won´t be forgotten in Frankfurt. It probably also warrants a proud smile from Fraport Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert each time he can read something positive about an ex player. A little more than three years ago, it was Alex King who set an amazing Eurocup record with the s.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg hitting seven three pointers in a row against Azovmash Mariupol powering them to the win breaking the previous record of 6/6 that was held by an array of skilled players with Henry Domercant, Tutku Acik, Martin Colussi and Jobey Thomas. King left Frankfurt in 2008 and despite not always having an easy time in his 6 years there having to come to terms with the moods of head coach Murat Didin and his uncomfortable dog house, he did help the team win their only Beko BBL league title in 2004 and helped reach a final in 2005. He left in 2008 and moved on to the Telekom Baskets Bonn where he had more of a role under Michael Koch kept developing before moving on to Wurzburg where he became a full-fledged German national player playing at the Euro 2013 in Slovenia and then made the next jump in his career and development at age 28 going to top Euroleague team Alba Berlin winning two more cups, becoming team captain and being able to mingle with the in society of Berlin on the red carpet at movie premiers. Especially the three pointer has been a part of King´s game that has improved immensely in the last 3-4 years and who knows his high rainbow shot that he delivers may have even inspired current Fraport Skyliner Johannes Voigtmann as it has been his bread and butter for some time now and as of recently has been as accurate as a clock can be and every time he releases that work of art, it looks like a controlled kite floating in the air before calmly falling into the bucket. However King isn´t the only ex Frankfurt Skyliner leaving his mark on German basketball, but also another guy that was known as JRoc by his friends.
It is sometimes easier to understand why an older player has more difficulty with fining a new team during the summer due to age, but with the transfer market seemingly getting more and more competitive each season even young bucks have had more problems getting a team prolonging their summer vacation staying at home and working out religiously to stay in shape and not have to set their alarm clocks in Europe to watch NBA games online, but actually visit games live. Former Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney is one of those players that had to stay longer in the States the last two seasons grinding it out in the gyms giving it that little extra push when the muscles are yelping no more no more and getting to catch some extra more games of his beloved St Louis Cardinals as he wasn´t signed during the summer, but late into the season. Even at the age of 32, Jimmy Mckinney still has that slick and suave swagger when he struts down the corridor as if it was 2008 and on the court he isn´t slowing down either. After playing his last season with the s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (Germany-BBL) in 2013-2014 where he had his lowest scoring average in three years at 7,8ppg, it seemed like at almost 31, he may be coming to the end of the line. However Mckinney knew he still had game within his 192cm and worked hard in the summer of 2014 and was happy to get a job late in December 2014 as likeable player´s coach Igor Perovic of the Walter Tigers Tuebingen came calling. Mckinney arrived to a team near the end of the standings and played totally rejuevanated playing 20 games averaging 12.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 41.3%, FT: 87.5%. After having shot only 40% from outside twice before in the Beko BBL, he now had had his highest average from downtown as a professional. Had the season ended on March 28 against Phoenix Hagen he would have scored in double figures in 15 of 16 games and been the most consistent scoring wise ever in his career in a short span like that. He probably wanted to forget the last 4 games as he put a dent into his already strong three point percentage by going 2/13 from the three point line. However his 29 points in 31 minutes against BG Goettingen where he knocked down 8 three pointers showed that the St Louis native may be getting older in age, but could still have big shooting games. So last summer he was hard at work again working on his game skills and keeping fit not to be left behind on the court by the young bucks should a team come calling. It wasn´t as late as last year, but this time it was Germany calling again as the name Mckinney does have a good reputation there as the Telekom Baskets Bonn wanted his services even if it was only a short term contract. With Bonn in the Beko BBL he hasn´t been as consistent as with Tuebingen in scoring in double figures, but has had great shot selection and is shooting 41,4% from the parking lot while averaging 9,6ppg, 2,1rpg and 1,0apg. However where the American has really taken control of is in Eurocup play where he shot a ridiculous 52,9% from outside and averaged 11,0ppg and 1,7rpg.
When Gordon Herbert turned on his computer yesterday morning, he must of had another opportunity to get his cheek dimples to get a early morning workout as he read about the newest eye opening feat by an ex Frankfurt Skyliner. Mckinney´s amazing three point shooting average was helped by his Steph Curry like shooting on Wednesday as he tied a Eurocup record making 9 three pointers tying Ruben Douglas who set the record with a 9-for-12 effort for Pamesa Valencia against Khimki Moscow Region in December 2007 and Marko Popovic attempted 14 shots in making 9 for Unics Kazan in November 2009. Ex Skyliners teammate Jimmie Hunt heard of the stellar performance in the Czech Republic where he is playing for BK Geosan Kolin, but it was something that he knew Mckinney was capable of. “I am very proud of Jimmy, but also I’m not surprised. He is a very good shooter. Very focused, and he works really hard. He is the type of shooter that you can assume spent plenty of time in the gym”, stressed ex Franklin Pierce (NCAA2) guard Jimmie Hunt. Another ex teammate Ilian Evtimov who has called Chalon(France Pro A) home since 2010 also has joined the professional basketball 30 plus group and knows what are the perfect comparisons are when one isn´t a young buck anymore and remembers what hardships Mckinney went through when he was playing in Frankfurt. “I think Jimmy is a bottle of wine, the older he gets the better he gets. I am not surprised by his performance. He may make 10 next year! The reason why Jimmy is a great player is because, he has work ethic. Even when the odds went against him, and he’s was hurt, torn pectoral muscle, broken wrist, he fought back to get back in the game. Today his perseverance is winning! Score on the board speaks for itself”, stressed ex Frankfurt Skyliner Ilian Evtimov. Mckinney helped bring the game into OT, but unfortunately the team lost to Dolomiti Energia Trento 98-96 and didn´t advance to the next group despite his potent 29 points. Even if the scouting report will always show Mckinney to be a dangerous shooter who can beat you on any night from downtown, his ex teammates clear up the notion one more time that he isn´t one dimensional. “Jimmy is way more than a one dimensional player. His ball handing is pretty strong and over looked. He is athletic and has a great pull up mid range jump shot if you take away the three. He is an all- around player”, added Jimmie Hunt. “In my eyes Jimmy is definitely not one dimensional, he can drive and has a pull up! Also, he is also a very smart player”, warned Ilian Evtimov. Recently Mckinney was rewarded with a contract until the end of the season as he will continue to be a very important offensive weapon for Bonn and their chances to reach the playoffs this season. Even if Mckinney is 32 years old, he is still boss on the parking lot´s in Europe as his hot shooting is remaining as slick and suave as his swagger down the street.