Featured Player of the Week

Andra "AJ" McKee in action this season. (Ron Morris)
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Andra “AJ” McKee, Independence Patriots 

The Independence Patriots basketball season came to an abrupt end on a last second shot at the buzzer in the third round of the state championships in overtime.  Perhaps with the talent and experience on this team, especially in the guard position and overall team defense who knows what the next round could have been for the Patriot faithful who were in pursuit of repeating their 2017-2018 state 4A title.

This past week the Southwestern 4A Conference selected their All-Conference Team.  McKee has earned a spot on the club which was well deserved.  He also was nominated the “Conference Player of the Year” which is based on his overall outstanding play both offensively and defensively.  His value to the team includes both leadership and athleticism which contributed to receiving this achievement and recognition.

McKee on the offensive side of the ball made a  significant contribution to the Patriots success during the 2018-2019 season.  He led the team averaging 11.0 points per game scoring 320 points in 29 games played.  He shot 46% from the floor, hit 61% of his free throws, 53% from the two point range.  The senior grabbed 111 rebounds, dished out 89 assists, had 58 steals, 7 blocks and 71 deflections as a ball hawk.

During the season head coach Preston Davis would put his best defender up against their opponents best offensive shooter and high scoring player.  McKee would spy this player all over the court and remain in their face playing aggressive defense to contain their scoring output for the game.  In many games McKee came out on top and did an excellent job on the oppositions best offensive player.

He also is versatile and can play guard and be a small forward when called upon by the coach, depending upon what scheme and player personnel the coach is using in a particular game situation McKee would transition smoothly into the role.

The Mint Hill Times congratulates Andra “AJ” McKee for his selection and accomplishment.  He is the second “Featured Player of the Week” made by the our sports writers.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.