It seems like Kent State guard Mike McKee has been in the basketball program forever, five years to be exact. I don't know that there's been a better character inside Kent State's program during the school's 12 year run of success.
McKee, a 6-5, 190 pound native of Plum Borough, Pa, has been apart of a lot and experienced a lot during his Kent State career.
Individually, McKee ranks 10th all time in program history with 143 made three pointers. Long range shooting is McKee's skill. Seventy six-percent of McKee's career field goals have been three pointers. 78 of those made three pointers have come at home on Kent State's parquet floor, with public address announcer Jeff Kurtz exclaiming, 'Three point goal, Mike Mckee'!
The durable McKee is eighth all time at Kent State in games played, participating in 128 games for the Blue and Gold.
McKee was named to the MAC All-Academic Team Honorable Mention for the 2008-09 season while he was named Men's Basketball Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year in 2007-08.
McKee has always done what the coaches asked of him.
The sharp shooter has been apart of three MAC regular season championships, two MAC tournament championships and played in the NCAA tournament and NIT. Kent State's record during his career was 117-52 for a .692 winning percentage.
McKee's career, along with his five classmates, came to an end Monday night in Illinois.
“When I came here, everything that I wanted to see in college basketball, I got to see. I got to see an NCAA tournament. I got to see an NIT. I got to see North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, here at Illinois, Italy. I got to go a lot of places, see a lot of places, experience a lot of things that wouldn’t have been possible had I not come here.”
McKee, who earned his bachelor's degree in Education in December 2009, says in ten years he plans to be a high school teacher and coach.
"If I’m not fortunate enough to continue my career maybe coaching is an avenue I’d like to look at," he said. "I always tell people that I think I can teach the game better than I can play it."
McKee is first going to try and extend his playing career possibly over seas. "I’d like to keep playing. I’m going to talk to some people, coach Steinburg, coach Senderoff and maybe even coach Ford and see if they can put me in touch with somebody and just see If I can play somewhere. I’m only young once so might as well exhaust all my options this early before I decide to get into a career.”
If you're a Kent State fan, I don't how one could not be a fan of a student-athlete like Mike McKee. I'm not president of the Mike McKee fan club, but I am a huge fan. It's about writing an accurate piece on a person who deserves it.
Head Coach Geno Ford will always have fond memories of McKee. "Mike has contributed on and off the floor pretty much in every way possible," Ford told the Record Courier on February 27. "He hit probably the biggest shot of my first year as head coach with the shot over Akron that won us the game, the 3-pointer in transition. That shot is one I'll always remember."
The 2009-10 season did not end in a NCAA tournament experience like everyone would have hoped, but McKee recognizes what he was apart of.
“I think even the people inside the program, the coaches and the players, we got caught up with the NCAA tournament hoopla and that’s your number one goal always," McKee said. "I think after we didn’t get there we got ourselves so depressed about not getting there that we forgot about all the stuff we have accomplished this year. Only the fourth regular season MAC championship in school history. That’s awesome.”
“It’s been a great five years," he said. "It’s been a pleasure to be apart of this program. Just the people around it, the people apart it. It’s really been a great chapter in my life.”