A Little More about Bones McKinney

Many people remember Bones McKinney as the coach of the Wake Forest men’s basketball team, a post he held from 1958 to 1965. That’s no small claim to fame, but Bones may be part of a more select club–a person with ties to all the “Big Four” Tobacco Road basketball programs. Here’s the story: Bones grew up within sight of Duke’s east campus. His Durham High School basketball team played some of its home games on the Duke campus (first at Card Gymansium, then later in the newly-opened Cameron Indoor Stadium). Four of Bones’s teammates (Gordon Carver, Bob Gantt, Cedric Loftis, and Garland Loftis) later started at Duke. McKinney chose not to go with his Durham High pals to Duke, but instead went to North Carolina State where he played for two seasons. World War II interrupted Bones’s college career. When he came back he spurned the Red Terrors (as NC State was then known) for UNC. He enrolled at UNC in January 1946 and played on the team that went to the Final Four that year. After that season, McKinney left college ball for the NBA.