DeWitt Friday was a banner night for the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball team.
It included the 500th win for head coach Bob McKenney and the 1,000th career point for Jafar Kinsey - both on Senior Night, no less - as the Red Rams cruised to a 76-38 win over Chittenango.
For McKenney, it was team before self, even though he became the fourth Section III coach to win 500 games.
“I’m more concerned with making sure we’re playing good basketball this time of year,” he said at practice on Thursday. “This is more of a players’ milestone for a coach.”
Some might call it poetic that McKenney and Kinsey, the latest in a rich lineage of J-D Division I players, reached huge milestones on the same night.
“He’s worked so hard throughout his career,” McKenney said. “He’s come in here every day for four years [and done] some of the same drills, and he still goes at them really hard. I’m proud of him.”
McKenney predicted that Kinsey’s teammates would give him the freedom to do as he pleased in pursuit of the 21 points he needed to reach 1,000 before the end of the night. They did just that, deferring to their Robert Morris-bound leader on several occasions.
None stood out more than the bucket on which the elusive 1,000th point was scored. With 5:52 left, Griffin Johnson had the ball on the wing. He passed up an open opportunity to score, instead opting to shovel the ball to Kinsey in the corner.
Kinsey's subsequent 3-pointer splashed in, and Kinsey raised his arms above his head in triumph as the crowd erupted.
“I was just thinking, ‘this is it,’” Kinsey said. “I had faith in my teammates that they’d give me the ball. I left it in their hands, and they got it to me.”