NEW YORK — Justin McKie headed for the stands as soon as he could Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The Gamecocks were going to the Final Four and McKie wanted to celebrate it with his family, including his father, BJ McKie — South Carolina’s all-time leading scorer.
There were no words at first, just emotions, as the Gamecocks reached the first Final Four in program history with a 77-70 win against Florida.
“All we kept saying was we love each other,” McKie said. “Then pops told me we made history and keep making some more.”
It was only right for McKie to rush to his father, who starred at South Carolina from 1995-98 and left as the only player in school history to score more than 2,000 points. His son followed in his footsteps in coming to Columbia to play for the Gamecocks and now has put himself in the record books for the way this team has made history.
South Carolina doubled its NCAA Tournament win total in a single tournament, leaping from four to eight as they made a run all the way to Phoenix.
On Sunday, that led to a moment McKie could only describe as “incredible.”
“I had ups and downs in my four years,” McKie said. “One thing my dad always told me was, ‘Men and McKie men always finish out what they start’. I started this along with Sin and Duane four years ago. Just to see it through and finish up the way we are finishing is great.”