March Madness Moments: Mackey McKnight IV Edition
1. Tell everyone what you’re doing now and how that journey’s going.
- I’m a professional basketball player overseas in England right now. I’ve been playing professional since I’ve graduated from Lehigh in May of 2014. It’s a roller coaster ride like most things in life. But it’s a blessing to do what you love as a job.
2. Talk about returning to campus after leading the school to its first ever NCAA victory?
- It was crazy! Students and staff were waiting for us to get off the bus on campus and it was like midnight on a school night. Huge pep rallies throughout the week and YouTube songs made about us. It was just hysteria all around for the remainder of the year.
3. Coming from a small conference, it’s basically imperative that you win your conference tourney, describe the mindset it takes to do so and what it’s like going from playing Patriot League schools to schools in a bigger conference?
- When you’re a mid major program, your entire focus all season is to be playing your best basketball around tournament time. Because it’s the only way you can get to the big dance. The biggest difference is height and size. Guys are a bit more athletic at the higher levels. With all that said though, it raises our game to another level. The basketball still bounces the same at the end of the day.
4. What’s the moment you remember most from the NCAA tournament?
- I believe it was a 3 point game with about under a minute a left to play. We have the lead and are taking out the ball while Duke is pressing us to get a turnover. Duke doesn’t guard Gabe or John down the court and we get a dunk to pretty much seal the game to be up by 5. You could feel the energy and emotion in the entire arena just start to lift and it was incredible.
5. Who’s the best player you played against during the tournament?
- Besides the big Plumlee brothers, Miles and Mason, who were just unstoppable. I really enjoyed the challenge of playing against all American Tu Holloway in the next round for Xavier. Austin Rivers has the hype at Duke all season, but Tu Holloway was a 4 year starter and just the way he played was a slow pace but he got to exactly where he wanted to be.
6. Describe the feeling of beating a powerhouse like Duke in its own state and earning the school’s first ever NCAA tournament victory?
- It was epic. You have to embrace being the underdog in those situations, but it’s truly a monumental feeling to accomplish the goal. Earning the first win in school history in that fashion, against a storied program, will never be forgotten. It’s like we wrote our names in history that day.
7. You dominated Tyler Thorton, talk about what was going through your mind leading up to that game and how you went about it?:
- I approach every game the same way. Control the tempo, be a leader, be an all around player and dominate my matchup. That game was no different. I was focused on showing everyone who the best point guard on the floor was and I think I achieved that.
8. Remember what shoes you were wearing during the tournament?
- Of course. Black and white Kobe 6’s. Everyone else wore 2011 Nike hyperdunks.
10. You remember your playlist during the tournament?
- Yeah man, Big KRIT 4evaNaDay mixtape was real heavy in my headphones at that time. Being from the South it was only right. Also, Wiz had just released his new mixtape Taylor Allderdice right before we boarded the plane to go to Greensboro. So that was real dope because he was probably one of the most popular artist at that time.