Following an official visit to South Carolina over the weekend, guard Justin McKie (Irmo/Irmo) knew he had found his future home and on Monday morning made the decision to attend South Carolina.
Class of 2013 guard Justin McKie
“Just coach Martin making me feel like I belong there was the reason for the commitment,” McKie told TheBigSpur.com. “Coach really showed he wanted me there and my family can come see me play. I am big about family and those two things really affected me going there.”
The crowd at the South Carolina football game on Saturday night really showed McKie would the future could be like for the basketball program. He talked about his visit this past weekend and a little more about Gamecock head coach Frank Martin.
“The visit went real well, just the atmosphere, just watching the football game and seeing those fans so excited about football, I feel like it can be that way for basketball,” McKie said. “I know coach Martin is a winner and is going to come in and get that winning tradition going. I have a lot of pride at South Carolina I want to be part of that.”
The 6-foot-4 wing player talked with Martin over the weekend about how he could impact the Gamecock program upon his arrival and what the staff expects of him.
“We talked about a lot,” McKie said. “He doesn’t want me to come in and be a guy that is a backup, he wants me to come in with the mentality to work hard and play hard and earn a spot.”
McKie will join another fellow Palmetto State prospect in Sindarius Thornwell in Martin’s first full recruiting class with the Gamecocks. The idea of the two players being part of the program’s turnaround is something he is looking forward to.
“It means a lot that we are both from the state,” he said. “Sindarius is a very good player, I think I am a pretty good player. Our talents together on the wing will be pretty good and being two kids from the state going to play at South Carolina will be really good.”
Gamecock fans will always remember McKie’s father, BJ, who played for the Gamecocks from 1996 through 1999 leading a revival of the program under then coach Eddie Fogler. The younger McKie knows there will be expectations by following in his father’s footsteps but looks forward to the challenge and building his own legacy.
“It is exciting for me,” McKie said. “He was a great player but like I always say it is time for me to step out of his shadow and build my own legacy. He built a great legacy but it is a good time for me and my family.”
With his commitment out of the way, McKie will now turn his attention towards his senior season and a few personal goals.
“Just work hard, play hard and help my team be the best team we can be,” he said. “The goal is to get the season started on a good note and the final goal is to win that state championship.”
McKie plans to sign his letter of intent in November and will not take any other visits. McKie is a two-star prospect with a 78 rating by 247Sports. He is ranked No. 292 nationally in the 247Composite rankings and is the sixth-best prospect in the state.
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