Ellison girls basketball coach Sherry McKinnon said when a former parent introduced her to Alexis Hornbuckle she didn’t know anything about the former No. 4 pick in the WNBA draft.
“I had to tell Alexis I had to Google her to find out who she was and what her credentials were — and they were pretty impressive,” McKinnon said with a laugh.
But what it didn’t take McKinnon long to find out is that she and Hornbuckle, a two-time national champion at the University of Tennessee and a two-time champion in the WNBA, had one common love — winning.
It was that common love that McKinnon believes played a key role in Hornbuckle agreeing to put on a clinic this weekend at Ellison and, potentially, joining her staff at Ellison.
“I think I threw something out at her in telling her that she had won four state championships in high school, she won two in college, she won two in the WNBA, but she hadn’t won one coaching,” McKinnon said. “So I told her she might want to come here and help us win a championship.”
McKinnon said Hornbuckle will lead clinics for high school and middle school students this weekend, beginning with a high school clinic Thursday evening at Ellison.
Hornbuckle has already visited with the current Lady Eagles and left impressed with the players’ work ethic, McKinnon said.
Now, she will try to impart her knowledge to the current and future players of Killeen, which has McKinnon and the rest of the Ellison staff excited, to say the least.
“It’s huge. That’s real huge,” McKinnon said. “Our assistant athletic director thinks it’s just the most awesome thing.”
For McKinnon and her program, it is a reaffirmation they’re doing something right as they continue to win and attract winners.
“I think we’re a place that people want to be,” McKinnon said. “I work for the greatest administration in the city and, I believe, in the state. My girls work hard, they’re very respectful and they talk to (Hornbuckle).
“But they were pretty convincing on the things, and she appreciated their work ethic and the way they carry themselves and things like that, and that’s something we pride ourselves on.”
But at the end of the day, McKinnon said she has only been able to come up with one explanation as to how her program was able to get a player like Hornbuckle to lead multiple clinics.
“Everybody has asked me how did that come about, and all I can say is God is good,” McKinnon said. “That’s my exact words has been God is good.”