By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – It may be the offseason and the dog days of summer, but juniors Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) and Alfonzo McKinnie (Chicago, Ill.) have kept Green Bay men’s basketball in the news with their play, or more accurately their verticals, at the Chicago Pro-Am. The former Marshall High School teammates and current Phoenix players have produced highlight-reel dunks that have taken the internet, the social media world, the media and even SportsCenter by storm.
“It’s been exciting to see Keifer and Alfonzo getting attention for those incredible plays,” said head coach Brian Wardle. “A lot of our players are getting the chance to play in summer leagues, and it gives them an opportunity to not only continue to get better against really strong competition, but also to play in front of friends and family members in their hometowns.”
Sykes, a 2013 All-Horizon League First-Team selection, was first to turn heads. With Derrick Rose, Shawn Marion and Antoine Walker on hand, the 5-foot-11 Sykes caught a lob from the baseline and converted a thunderous dunk over a defender in the lane.
A rising junior, Sykes has already scored 874 points in a Green Bay uniform and averaged 15.9 points per game as a sophomore in 2012-13.
After transferring from Eastern Illinois and sitting out last season, McKinnie has yet to score in a Phoenix jersey. However, on Monday night he found himself in the Top 10 plays on ESPN’s SportsCenter after the worldwide leader caught wind of his explosive dunk in the Chicago Pro-Am. The 6-foot-8 McKinnie made a backcut, caught the ball in traffic and finished a dunk over 4-time NBA All-Star Shawn Marion.
As a sophomore at EIU in 2011-12, McKinnie averaged 10.2 points and seven rebounds per contest while ranking second in the Ohio Valley Conference in field-goal percentage.
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