Like father, like son; McKie on a mission

Justin McKie will follow in his father, B.J.'s footsteps, playing college basketball at South Carolina.

IRMO (WACH)- In rare cases with athletics do you see children following in their parents career paths, but in this instance, it's the same route and more.

B.J. McKie was a star basketball player coming out of Irmo High School and went on to play in college at the University of South Carolina. He took Gamecock nation by storm from 1996-1999 becoming the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,119 career points. He is one of five Gamecocks to have his jersey retired.

B.J.'s son Justin is also a rising basketball sensation at Irmo. The senior has helped the Yellow Jackets to an impressive 25-0 record this season, and are ranked nationally. McKie will follow the same route his father took and play his college basketball at USC. Like his dad, Justin scores at will.

"I came to him at a young age and told him what I wanted to do and he promised he would help me do that, and he has," Justin said.

With the last name McKie, expectations for the youngster will be high, but fathers know best.

"Justin just has to be Justin," B.J. said. "Not worry about all the accolades I've got, and what I've done. If he does that, Justin will be fine."

With the pedigree that Justin has, the pressure should be non-existent.

"My ultimate goal has to always be a winner," Justin said. "Whether that's being on the floor getting productive minutes, or whether it's being on the bench cheering on my teammates, I just want to win."

One man who has seen it all from the father-son connection is Irmo head coach Tim Whipple. Whipple has coached the Yellow Jackets for 32 seasons and is surprised at how similar the McKie's are on the court.

"Both have tremendous work ethic, both have a tremendous desire to excel," Whipple said. "When you've got that and some talent, you've pretty much got the best of both worlds."

As Justin gets ready to make the transition to college, he realizes he doesn't have to be what his father was. He just has to be Justin McKie.

"When I was younger, my goals were always to be better than him," Justin said. "Now as I try and create my own identity, it's about being the best player I can be."

But who's the better player? At 35, B.J. still has the smooth jumper that took the Carolina Coliseum by storm, but is it enough to take his son?

"One-on-one, I can beat him, I can beat him," B.J. smiled.

"The jumper is still pretty good, I'll give him that, but he can't beat me... he's too old," Justin laughed.

The one thing that will never get old though, is the connection that the McKies' have.

Who do you think is better? You be the judge. Here's video of B.J. and Justin playing one-on-one.