On Thursday, July 8, CalHiSports.com released its awards and honors for the State Player of the Year at each Division inside the State of California. Included among those who take player of the years honors was former Islander Point Guard and current University of San Diego Toreros Point Guard Wayne McKinney. The award comes on the heels of Wayne also being named the CIF San Diego First Team.
McKinney, who has signed with the University of San Diego, is the highest-ranked prospect ever signed by USD.
In 2021 McKinney followed up a spectacular junior season, which saw him avg. 28.4 PPG, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists with an even more memorable senior season. It’s rare that you find a young player who dominates both ends of the floor, as well as McKinney did during the 2021 season. Defensively McKinney averaged a staggering 4.3 steals per game, and constantly took on the task of shutting down opposing teams’ best scorers. Combined with his elite defensive play, McKinney was also a menace of the glass for the Islanders as he averaged 10.2 rebounds per game, good enough for second highest per game on the team, a feat that is considerably more impressive when you account for the fact that McKinney stands at just 6’0 and plays at the one.
On the offensive side of things, McKinney constantly imposed his will. When I say teams tried everything to stop him, I mean everything. McKinney constantly fought through double, even triple, teams and defensive schemes that were created with the sole purpose of trying to slow him down. However, despite all of this McKinney continued to put up huge numbers as he constantly drove to the rack and made even the most contested jumpers look silky smooth. For the season he posted 22.9 points per game to go along with 5.4 assists per game.
When looking back at his 2021 season, McKinney had two games that really helped cement his spot as the Division IV Player of the Year. His first being his 42 points performance vs. eventual No. 3 state-ranked team Torrey Pines; the other being a 44-point, 14 rebound performance vs. the Cavers of San Diego High School.
Wayne McKinney is one of only three San Diego basketball players to take home the Division IV Payer of the Year awards. The most recent previous to McKinney’s honor was Mikey Williams from San Ysidro High School, who was the Division IV State Player of the Year just last year. Prior to that, however, only former first round pick and current Los Angeles Laker Jarred Dudley had won the award for Horizon High School back in 2003.
Overall McKinney’s 2021 performance and play spoke for itself and made him more than worthy to receive the Division IV State Player of the Year award.