Kamari McGee, from Racine (Wisc.) has been an absolute revelation for Will Ryan and the rebuilding Phoenix this season.
The freshman point guard was a cornerstone piece of Will Ryan’s first ever recruiting class for the Phoenix. It was a class that featured three players ranked top 10 in the state of Wisconsin (McGee, Myers, Dailey), and one that can hopefully help pave the way for future in-state talent to also stay home and play for the Phoenix.
McGee chose Green Bay over offers from: Western Illinois, South Dakota State, Grambling State, Colgate.
The Racine native offered some insight on why he chose Green Bay over other offers: “It was close to home, so my family could come and support me. I have a huge support system and they love to come to games, plus i bonded well with the coaching staff”.
From the day McGee stepped on campus, many, myself included, expected the freshman to make an immediate impact for the Phoenix. It should come as no surprise that McGee had similar expectations for himself.
“I expected to get a good amount of playing time because of how much I can effect the game in many different ways, and with how hard I work to earn my minutes” said McGee.
Like anyone would expect, the former Racine St. Catherine’s standout had to adjust to life at the division one level.
“My biggest learning curve transitioning to division one was the pace of the game. It’s a little bit different than high school, but once I got used to it and more comfortable the game started to come to me”.
Over Green Bay’s first eight games, McGee averaged 6.1 points per game, but has really found his footing over the team’s last six games – averaging 15.5 points per contest. It’s also worth noting that McGee took the reigns as the program’s starting point guard five games ago – and he’s been fantastic.
Some of McGee’s success can be attributed to additional opportunity, and some belongs second year head coach Will Ryan.
“I like playing for Coach Ryan, he pushes us each and every day to become better both individually, and as a team” said McGee.
While Green Bay’s record (2-12, 1-4 HL) may not be indicative of the growth this team has shown on the court, it’s the work being put in behind the scenes that’s leading to the steadily upward development of this young group.
“This team has grown tremendously over the course of the season,” McGee stated. “We’re still in a little rough patch, but we are piecing things together as the season goes on – the team isn’t giving in and that’s what makes us special – thing’s will begin to click soon”.
When asked what is a current point of emphasis for this young Phoenix team, McGee stated “We just need to make sure that we are all on the same page and stick together through the good and the bad, and be there for one another”.
It’s a simple message, yet an important one for the second least experienced team in college basketball. Basketball is a game predicated on communication, and all the moving parts doing their job.
Thankfully, Green Bay has found their point guard of the future – and he’s given them an important foundational piece to build around.
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