Alfonzo McKinnie – From Luxembourg‘s Second Division to the NBA

Alfonzo McKinnie is currently living the dream of every Basketball player, which is playing in the NBA – and that without being officially drafted. His way up to this point is pretty unusual. Raised in Chicago he hasn‘t been drafted out of college by an NBA Team in 2015 because of a knee injury. But he didn‘t resign after that.

McKinnie tried his luck in Luxembourg where he played for the East-Side Pirates Berbourg-Wasserbillig. Here he was highly respected by his teammates, averaging 26 points and 16 rebounds per game. Although this strong personal record, the team became last with only 2 out of 28 wins throughout the season. After the season, he began to play in Mexico where he soon raised the attention of many talent scouts which is why he ended up playing in the US-Nationalteam.

Alfonzo McKinnie in action against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This turned out to be the big jump in McKinnie’s career. In 2016 he then started playing for the Windy City Bulls, the G-League Chicago Bulls. After strong performances in the G-League, he has been tested in 2017 by the current NBA champion Toronto Raptors and by the 6-Times NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, where he finally ended up playing. Currently he is no Starting-5-Player, but especially in moments where the Golden State roaster is plagued by injuries, McKinnie turns out to be a valuable asset as Rotation Player, and he is improving with every minute that he is playing.

Terminology:

NBA Draft: Yearly Event where the NBA Teams have the right to pick players out of colleges or from international clubs. The order of how teams can pick players is determined by a lottery, where the lower ranked teams from the season before have higher chances to be able to a receive a top ranked player-pick. Normally, the first picks are the most desired and thus the most talented rookies.

G-League: Independent league where NBA Teams give especially young talents the chance to play competitive Basketball in order to raise attention. The ultimate goal is obviously to make it from the G-League Squad to the Franchise’s NBA Team.