This archived article was written by: Maddi Hind
Basketball is about having the will and desire to perform and excel, you have to have skill and heart to play this game. For James Kinney II, this love of the game came at a very young age, and it came really easy for this soon to be star.
Originally from Champaign, Ill., Kinney was born on October 11, 1990. Besides his parents, he has two other siblings, an older sister and a younger brother.
Being the middle child, Kinney said, “I like to feel like I’m the favorite out of us, even if I’m not. My mom made me feel like I was the favorite at least. I love my mom; she was my number-one fan. She would come to every game she could and be the loudest person in the gym.”
Kinney has never been a vocal person, “I am a shy person, but once I get to know you, I’m comfortable around you. I’m just a normal guy; I have no special or secret talents, I just play ball. Before coming to USU-CEU, Kinney II went to Ohio University, a D-1 school in Athens, Ohio, six hours away from home, compared to 22 hours to Price.
“The major differences in the two schools were the amount of people on campus, the food, and more things to do on the campus at OU.” So what brought him here…? How did he find USU-CEU and come across this program…? “I’ve always had a good relationship with [Jonathan] Mills, ever since high school and playing against each other in AAU. He got me to talk to Coach Brad [Barton] and we just clicked.”
Kinney has been side-lined with a nagging foot injury the past month, but feels he is almost ready to take the court for the souring Eagles. “I shot for the first time in weeks and it feels good to get back into the game. I should be back after the break.”
Brandon Williams says, “He is a real cool guy, he wants to win and he works really hard. He gives us a lot of experience since he came from a D-1 school, he has great leadership also.” “He has such a passion for the game, he is willing to learn more off the court but is also very demanding of himself on the court,” says Max Zakharov.
Look for Kinney to make his debut for the Eagles after Christmas Break, and keep supporting your USU-CEU mens basketball team.