Nov. 14, 2001
Matt McKinney, a 6-8, 200-pound basketball and volleyball standout at Santa Ynez, CA HS, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UCLA and also compete in volleyball, Bruin head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin announced Wednesday.
Entering his senior season on the basketball court, McKinney is rated the No. 3 forward in the State by PrepWestHoops. As a junior hoopster in 2000-01, McKinney averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds, earning All-CIF honors.
In volleyball, McKinney helped Santa Ynez win its third consecutive Southern Section Div. III championship and he is a two-time All-CIF outside hitter. Santa Ynez HS is a national prep volleyball power, producing U. S. National Team members George Roumain and Andy Witt.
"Matt McKinney is one of the nation's top two-sport high school athletes," Lavin said. "He has impressive athletic talents that enable him to excel at two different sports. His versatility and athletic ability will make him a great addition to our team next year."
Bruin men's head volleyball coach Al Scates agrees with Lavin's assessment of McKinney's talents. "Matt McKinney is an elite volleyball player with Olympic-team potential," said Scates, who has won 18 NCAA Men's Volleyball crowns during his 39+years at UCLA. "In my opinion, he's one of the two best high school volleyball players in the nation. We look forward to him playing volleyball for the Bruins after the men's basketball season is completed." UCLA on Wednesday also signed the nation's other top-ranked prep men's volleyball player - Pat Nihipali from Mira Costa HS in Manhattan Beach.