Alabama football early-enrollee and dual-sport athlete Ga'Quincy "Kool Aid" McKinstry was on the bench in street clothes for Alabama basketball's win against Mississippi State Saturday night and has begun practicing with the basketball team according to head coach Nate Oats.
"He came to school a semester early like a lot of football guys do, and we recruited him as a basketball and football player," Oats said. "He’s been showing up to practice when his schedule permits. We’re trying to get him accustomed to what we’re doing."
Because he just arrived on campus and has had limited practice, Oats said it will be tough for him to see game action this season with the team, but will continue practicing with the team whenever he has time. McKinstry participated as a member of the scout team at practice yesterday.
Oats already sees the blue collar mentality in McKinstry and said he has loved having him be part of the team so far.
"Obviously a great athlete, kind of brings that blue collar toughness, gritty," Oats said. "He could probably give us some of that, but we’ll have to see how he picks up the system."
Oats said football will take precedence once conditioning starts for the football team, but they are trying to get him involved with basketball in any ways he can now.
McKinstry was recently named Mr. Football for the state of Alabama and was one of the top recruits in the 2020 recruiting cycle.
Before the 81-73 win over Mississippi State, Oats, who is a noted pool shark, actually got a game of billiards in with Pinson Valley, Ala. native.
"He’s a great kid," Oats added. "I like having him around. I shot a game of pool with him today after shootaround. He likes to talk. I like the kid a lot. I love having him around."