Aaron McKie joins Temple basketball staff as assistant coach

TOM MIHALEK / Associated Press
TOM MIHALEK / Associated Press
Posted: August 23, 2014

Temple legend Aaron McKie is the quintessential Philadelphia guy. But he also had a distinguished NBA career that has brought the North Philadelphia native a lifestyle he may never have dreamed of.

But the tug to be at home and help build the program that turned him into a first-round draft pick and a 13-year NBA player is stronger than anything that was coming down the basketball pike, which is why McKie on Thursday joined coach Fran Dunphy's staff at Temple as an assistant coach.

"This is home for me," said McKie, most recently an assistant coach for the 76ers before being let go before last season. "I had to make a career-slash-family decision, and, for me, family won out. The opportunity to stay here in Philly and be near my family was just too strong."

McKie joins assistants Dwayne Killings and Shawn Trice on Dunphy's staff. Former assistant Dave Duke will serve as the team's director of player development.

Inducted into the Temple Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, McKie starred at Simon Gratz High School before enrolling at Temple, where he finished his career tied for sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,650 points.

Drafted by the NBA's Portland Trailblazers with the 17th overall pick in the 1994 draft, McKie also played for Detroit, Toronto, the Sixers (where he won the NBA's sixth-man-of-the-year award in 2001), and the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring at the end of the 2007 season.

He spent six seasons as a Sixers assistant.

McKie could boost the Owls' recruiting efforts; potential recruits will have a former NBA player walking into their living rooms. The Owls have offered Jalen Brunson, rated by some as the top point-guard prospect in the class of 2015, a scholarship. Brunson is the son of McKie's former Temple teammate, Rick Brunson.

They have also offered a scholarship to LeVan Alston Jr., a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Haverford High School ranked among the top 85 players in the class of 2016. His father also played at Gratz and Temple.

"I'm taking my marching orders from Coach Dunphy, but what I want to do is help in any capacity, because the game never changes," McKie said. "The only thing that changes are the faces. But now you are courting people.

"It's different," he continued. "When I was coming up, you chose a school because you loved a place. Now, it's important to have the parents believe that they can trust you with their child, not just for basketball, but also for life."


jmitchell@philly.com

@JmitchInquirer

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