On Aug. 28, 2017, ETSU men’s basketball head coach Steve Forbes announced the addition of former South Carolina star BJ McKie to replace the departed Brian Collins on the Buccaneers’ coaching staff.
McKie, who finished his playing career in 1999 as the Gamecocks’ all-time leading scorer with 2,119 points, comes to ETSU after six seasons as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern. In his time there, CSU enjoyed one of the most successful stretches in program history, including a program record for wins and a regular season Big South Conference title in 2014-15.
“BJ comes to ETSU highly recommended as a person and as a coach,” Forbes said. “Coming out of Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., BJ was a McDonald’s All American and he went on to become one of the most highly-decorated player’s in the history of South Carolina and the SEC.
“BJ played professionally for 15 years and his basketball expertise along with his life experiences will provide our players with a role model who has accomplished what they strive to accomplish, on and off the court. Over the past six years his coaching and recruiting played an integral part in Charleston Southern winning two Big South regular season titles.”
McKie impacted one of the most successful stretches in Charleston Southern history in his six years on the bench with head coach Barclay Radebaugh, who was an assistant at South Carolina when McKie played for the Gamecocks from 1996-99. The two ultimately led CSU to two Big South regular season championships and a pair of NIT berths.
McKie was promoted to the role of associate head coach in August of 2015. During the 2015-16 season, McKie aided the maturation of Armel Potter, who earned All-Big South Freshman Team honors and emerged as one of the top guards in the conference.
McKie was part of a staff that piloted the Bucs to the winningest regular season in school history in 2014-15. CSU won the Big South regular season title after being picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll. McKie continued to work closely with CSU’s guards, and seniors Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper cemented their place as elite players in program history under his watch. Nimley earned Big South Player of the Year honors and finished the season ranked fifth nationally in both scoring and three-pointers per game.
A native of Norfolk, Va., McKie finished his playing career at South Carolina (1996-99) as the Gamecocks’ all-time leading scorer with 2,119 career points and was honored by the Southeast Conference as an SEC Basketball Legend as part of its class of 2011. McKie was named the 1996 SEC Freshman of the Year, and is just the 12th player in league history to earn Associated Press First Team SEC honors for three seasons.
The two-time team captain played in 123 consecutive games at the guard position, scoring in double figures 111 times and recording 38 games with 20 or more points. McKie averaged 17.3 points per game as senior and finished third in SEC scoring that season. In 1997, McKie averaged 17.4 ppg to lead the Gamecocks to their first ever SEC basketball title. South Carolina appeared in the NCAA Tournament in both 1997 and 1998, ranking 14th in the nation and receiving the number three seed in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. He is one of five Gamecock players to have his jersey retired.
Following his career at USC, McKie competed professionally for a number of teams overseas. McKie played for BCM Gravelines in France, Keravnos in Cyprus, as well as Avitos Geissen and TBB Trier in Germany. He also spent time with Pepsi Caserta and Nuova Pallacanestro Pavia in Italy; Maccabi Haifa Heat and Hapoel Afula in Israel. In 2004, McKie was named a Basketball Budesliga (Player of the Year) while competing in Germany. He was also a 2001 CBA All-Star while playing for the Connecticut Pride of the Continental Basketball Association.
McKie is married to the former Brittany Brooks. He has one son, Justin, who recently completed his college career at South Carolina and was a member of the Gamecocks’ 2017 Final Four team.