By Chris Wood and Ryan Pike
Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor for Writing and Reporting
Friday was a banner night for the Jamesville-DeWitt Boys Basketball team. It held the 500th win for Head Coach Bob McKenney and the 1,000th career point for senior guard Jafar Kinsey- both on Senior Night, no less- as the Red Rams cruised to a 76-38 win over Chittenango.
Unsurprisingly, it was team before self for McKenney, who became the fourth Section III coach to win 500 games. “I’m more concerned with making sure we’re playing good basketball this time of year,” he said at practice on Thursday. “This is more of a players’ milestone for a coach.”
Some might call it poetic that McKenney and Kinsey, the latest in a rich lineage of J-D Division I players, reached huge milestones on the same night.
“He’s worked so hard throughout his career,” McKenney said of his point guard. “He’s come in here everyday for four years [and done] some of the same drills, and he still goes at them really hard. I’m proud of him.”
McKenney predicted that Kinsey’s teammates would give him the freedom to do as he pleased in pursuit of the 21 points he needed to reach 1,000 before the end of the night. They did just that, deferring to their Robert Morris-bound leader on several occasions.
None stood out more than the bucket on which the elusive 1,000th point was scored. With 5:52 left to play, senior guard Griffin Johnson had the ball on the wing. He passed up an open opportunity to score, instead opting to shovel the ball to Kinsey in the corner. The subsequent three pointer splashed in, and Kinsey raised his arms above his head in triumph as the crowd erupted.
“I was just thinking, ‘this is it,’” Kinsey said. “I had faith in my teammates that they’d give me the ball. I left it in their hands, and they got it to me.”
David Antosh, senior guard, thought that it was a great night. “Senior night is always a special game, but this year was unique. To have Jafar get 1,000 points and to have Coach get his 500th win was unreal; I was glad to be a part of both of the milestones.”
“I really wanted it for him,” Johnson said. “He’s been working at it his whole life to get to this point. I just figured I could help him out on his path.” Antosh went on to say, “It was awesome that Jafar was able to do it. I think it really shows out how great of a career he has had in his four years on the team.”
After the game, McKenney was swarmed by his coaches and players. Commemorative shirts were passed out, and McKenney received a game ball from the members of J-D’s Board of Education at center court.