Mikh McKinney will be re-signing with the Macau Black Bears (formerly Chong Son Kung Fu) for the upcoming ASEAN Basketball League 2018-2019 season. The talented guard won the MVP award for Heritage Imports after averaging 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.2 steals for his team, leading to a league-best 15-5 record in the regular season.
However, If he had his way he probably would have traded all of that for a different ending to the season.
First, Chong Son Kung Fu lost at home to the Mono Vampire in their first game of the ABL Semifinals, despite maintaining a perfect home record through the regular season. Then, they were ultimately eliminated from the playoffs altogether after losing Game 2 of the series in heartbreaking fashion.
McKinney had drained a emotional clutch three-pointer with only 20 seconds left in regulation of Game 2 to tie things up.
“Everyone was hurt after our final game of the season,” McKinney expressed. “We felt that we didn’t achieve the goals we set for ourselves and knew we were capable of. We were all disappointed, especially knowing the ways of professional basketball. It’s rare that a team ever really stays fully intact so we knew that there was a good possibility that that would be our only shot at winning with that certain team.”
It’s been a long summer for Mikh McKinney ever since. He’s had to relive the moment over and over again in his head and, on a positive note, it’s motivated him to become even better than before.
“The feeling will always linger on,” McKinney says of what he’s been going through in the offseason. “Whenever I look back on the season — although we had many things to be proud and happy for — I will also always have that feeling of missing out on the championship knowing that this team could have achieved it.”
“It’s a big motivating factor, personally. Losing and underachieving makes me work harder. There are always little things that I felt I could have done better personally to help elevate the team when we needed it.”
The uber-talented guard out of Sacramento State University will get a shot at showing the ASEAN Basketball League what he can do better after re-signing with his former team. It won’t be the exact same squad as last season but with McKinney (and Anthony Tucker) already back on board, the goal for the team will remain the same as it was last season: winning the ABL title.
“Both Anthony Tucker and Mikh McKinney really wanted to play with each other and bringing both back was only possible because both of their commitments to the team.” says Macau Black Bears General Manager Lukas Peng. “I also want to thank both of them for trusting in our organization to put together a competitive roster even after the move to Macau.”
“Building a successful team in a new location takes time and having both our MVPs back will make the basketball part much easier. We will take it one game at a time and we will be prepared for every one of them as each game will be even tougher than last season.”
McKinney is already excited for the prospect of his sophomore season in the ABL. He’s really looking forward to playing in front the ABL fans once again and also alongside one of the best players in the league, Anthony Tucker.
“First of all, I loved playing in the league last year,” McKinney says. “For my first year in Asia — and even more specifically in the South East Asia region — the fans were so welcoming to me everywhere we played. I was happy being in the league and once the organization and myself were able to come to an agreement, I was more than happy to be coming back to the ABL.”
“What me and Ant did out there on the court speaks for itself,” McKinney adds about the duo MVP combination. “I don’t have to say much in that regard. The quote I want to use for it is ‘if it ain’t broke dont fix it’.”
“Its going to be big-time running the backcourt with the ABL World MVP. Off the court, we built a great relationship as well and this will be my first season [professionally] actually returning to a team and playing with at least one of my former teammates so I’m actually really excited for that.”
It’s been a long summer of what-if scenarios for Mikh McKinney but with the ABL season coming up soon, he’s ready to jump back into action and finish what he and the team started last year.
“The goal is to win a championship,” McKinney claims. “What I’m looking forward to most is lacing ‘em up in front of the great ABL fans and getting back to doing what I love and thats to play the game of basketball.”