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.