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College Basketball

Wake Forest's McKie faces godfather at NC State

Posted February 10, 2014

It's safe to say NC State director of player development Dereck Whittenburg knows the scouting report on Wake Forest forward Travis McKie. Whittenburg has an inside scoop that hours of film couldn't provide.

"My wife knew his family real well, and they called us up and said 'would you be the godparents?'," Whittenburg said. "And so I've known Travis ever since he was a little baby."

The son of a standout at Auburn, McKie quickly blossomed on the basketball court, with his godfather guiding him along the way to the hoop.

"We used to play one-on-one shooting games. I used to beat him all the time but as I've gotten older I'm getting smarter," said Whittenburg.

"He only wants to shoot me in free-throws and I think I beat him in that too, so whatever he wants to do I'm with it. He's taking me, he's taking me all day. It's not even a question," said McKie.

But playful playground trash talk just becomes background noise for someone wearing a ring.

"But then he brings out his Championship rings and I have nothing to say," said McKie. "He always trumps me with that."

Bonded by more than basketball though, the two maintain a close relationship, one even league rivalries can't wane.

"Just having someone like that in your corner, that knew the experience, that was there, that knew what it took," said McKie. "He's helped me so much, words can't explain how much he's meant in my life."

"He's always shone that potential," said Whittenburg. "I knew one day he was going to be in the ACC. I was hoping he was going to be with the Wolfpack."

But, instead McKie ended up a hundred miles west at Wake.

He may not have banners, but a season-sweep against his godfather? McKie says that's good enough bragging rights for him.

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  • vt94hokies Feb 13, 2014

    Nice story. Wake isn't all that on the road.

  • jmcdow2792 Feb 11, 2014

    This story is all well and good, but State needs to win this one tonight. Hopefully they make up for the disappointing loss in the first game. I plan to be there. I may have to give my 4WD a workout as I have about 30 miles to travel. Go Pack.

  • HeelHater Feb 11, 2014

    "Shone".....wait, what?

  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 10, 2014

    Great story, and McKie is fortunate to have Whittenburg in his life.

  • cjw6105 Feb 10, 2014

    I'd rather be facing my godfather than my daddy.

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