Police say that McKee, 24, was shot in the face and side shortly before 6 a.m. Medics pronounced him dead five minutes later. Neighbors reported hearing five or six shots.
"He was a phenomenal athlete. The Elevator Man. It was a well-earned title," said Mike Lintulahti, a family friend who coached basketball elsewhere. "He played hard. I mean hard. With passion. A tough, tough kid."
Homicide Sgt. Tim Cooney said investigators haven't identified a motive or suspect. McKee himself was known to police. He'd been arrested for assault, drug possession and other offenses, but most of the charges had been dropped, according to court records.
As a senior at Southern, McKee was upfront about his history of fights, and worse. But that's not what the overflow crowd saw at Franklin Learning Center in January 2007 as he accepted an alley-oop from guard Anthony "Crip" Reese.
"I felt like I was flyin', like I was up there for a minute," McKee told the Daily News after the game. "The thing was, I didn't think it was going to work. I was pretty much at the top when Crip gave me the oop. So, man, I was just hangin' there for a bit as the ball came to me. Then I caught it and threw that jawn down."
-Daily News sports writer Ted Silary contributed to this report.
Contact William Bender at email@example.com or 215-854-5255. Follow him on Twitter @wbender99.