Dezmond Mckinney had a stellar season for Raytown South this year, earning all-state honors along the way. Although his team’s season was cut short before the state semifinals, he has plenty to be happy about. McKinney averaged 16 points a game, but also showing his ability to be an all-around guard and impact the game in different ways. McKinney has offers from schools but for now, he’s delaying that and reclassifying to the class of 2021. We caught up with McKinney and here’s what he had to say.
RLH: How was the season for you at Raytown South this year?
My season at Raytown South went good. We finished how I hoped.
RLH: You guys had an incredible year, only a few games along the way to really good teams, how’d you guys handle the pressure all year?
I feel like we handled the pressure well. Just sometimes we got a little out of control but overall we handled the pressure well.
RLH: You’re surrounded by a bunch of talented players, what’s it like to play with players like them?
I was blessed to be able to play with that group of guys, due to the fact that they pushed me everyday in practice and wanted nothing but the best for me.
RLH: Your season got cut short right before the state semifinals, how were you guys feeling after that and all the work you put in?
After we heard the season got cut short I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who cried. It had felt like all the work we did had just got cut short, so later that day we all just met up at a gym and played until the owner kicked us off the court.
RLH: You had avenged an early season loss to Grandview to get to the semifinals, what was the message heading into that game?
Heading into that Grandview game, coach had really just told us to play our game and don’t let the crowd or the refs determine the game.
RLH: You were most recently named to the all-state team, how does it feel to achieve that accomplishment?
It felt good to be named all state. It was just another goal I had going into this season.
RLH: You’re reclassifying to 2021, what factors went into you deciding to reclassify?
Just getting another chance to play in front of college coaches.
RLH: Are you doing a prep year somewhere? If so, what prep schools have contacted you and when do you want to make a decision?
Yes it just depends on how the summer goes. But if I were to go to a prep school it would be Link Year Prep and I’m not sure yet about the decision.
RLH: You’re going to be running with Team KC this summer, what excites you the most about playing with Team KC?
What excites me the most about playing with Team KC is being able to be coached by Pip.
RLH: You’re one of the leading scorers on your team, how’d you handle defenses knowing that they knew you were one of your guys’ go-to scorers?
Really just go into every game knowing that if I play my game that nobody could stay in front of me.
RLH: You’re a top player in your class in the state of Missouri, what’s your case for being #1?
I don’t pay attention to rankings because of the simple fact that a person puts his shoes on the same way I do. Rankings are nothing but the people’s opinions.
RLH: If a college coach asked what are the strong parts of your game? What would you say?
I would say being able to share the ball and get my teammates open. Leading the team and doing what’s best for the team, and doing whatever it takes to win.
RLH: What are you doing to improve as a basketball player?
Just staying consistent on my game, weights, staying on the gun, working on my jump shot, and keeping my dribbling tight.
RLH: Are there any updates on your college recruitment? What schools are contacting you the most? Any offers?
Offers from UCM, Washburn, and Drury. I have interest from NDSU and Nebraska Omaha.
RLH: If so, what messages are the coaches conveying to you?
Just stay working and hitting the weights.
RLH: Do you have any visits lined up and a timeline when to make a decision?
No visits or a timeline with a decision.
RLH: What are you looking for in a program at the next level?
What I’m looking for in a college is a family environment, winning culture, relationship with coaches and players, and seeing how they could get me ready for the next level.