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From NBA G League Tryout to the Defending NBA Champs: Alfonzo McKinnie Steps into Spotlight

By Keith Schlosser | November 6, 2018

With his fourth professional season underway, Alfonzo McKinnie is basking in the glory of national spotlight as a spark plug off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. His energetic style makes him a seamless fit for the defending champs’ run-and gun-offense and he’s produced when given ample playing time.

When playing 17 minutes or more, McKinnie has averaged 12 points on 62% shooting to go along with 7.4 rebounds. Not surprisingly, Golden State has gone 5-0 in those games. His most recent effort, a-14 point outing, came during Monday night’s win over the Grizzlies.

With such a talented team in Oakland, McKinnie waits patiently before excelling whenever his number is called. But with a long, storybook journey — including two seasons of G League experience — under his belt, the forward knows patience is a virtue.

In fact, on Tuesday the New York Times called his McKinnie’s path “the craziest story in the NBA.”

After climbing back from multiple injuries in college, McKinnie battled his way into the pros. His journey has been a grind, but he’s found that light at the end of the tunnel.

His path to the NBA began when he participated in an open tryout with the Windy City Bulls in 2016. The 26-year-old then went on to strut his stuff for Windy City, reaching the NBA G League All-Star Game that same year and participating in the Dunk Contest. That earned him a contract with the Toronto Raptors and more seasoning with Raptors 905 on assignment in 2017-18.

McKinnie joined Golden State on a training camp deal in September, but continued to seize his opportunities, eventually making the Opening Night roster. He likes to crash the boards and start fast breaks on his way to cashing in on higher percentage looks. His ability to run the floor and push the pace while also knocking down threes with accuracy has certainly helped Golden State, signaling that his future in the Association is bright.

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