What Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats said about when Ga’Quincy 'Kool Aid' McKinstry will play

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

The state of Alabama’s “Mr. Football” was in attendance but not in uniform Saturday.  Ga’Quincy “Kool Aid” McKinstry was a spectator for the Alabama basketball team as the Crimson Tide beat Mississippi State 81-73 at Coleman Coliseum.

”It’s going to take a long time,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said when asked about McKinstry possibly playing. “Think of all the time he has missed. But we are glad to have him out there. The guys like him. I like having him around.

"When football conditioning starts, that takes precedence. But he’s great. I shot a game of pool with him after the game. On the court, he learns fast, he’s obviously an extraordinary athlete and maybe he could give us some of that toughness that we need.” 

Alabama football signee Kool Aid McKinstry is seen with the Alabama basketball team in Coleman Coliseum before the game with Mississippi State Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

With only a single day of practice, McKinstry (6-2, 185) would have been extremely unlikely to see game action. He is expected to continue practicing basketball until he begins working full-time with football.

McKinstry, a five-star cornerback who signed a football scholarship with Alabama in December and enrolled earlier this month, was a two-sport star at Pinson Valley High School. He enrolled early in Tuscaloosa and expects to compete in the Alabama secondary when football begins spring practice.  

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Following his commitment to UA football, McKinstry frequently posted images of himself in Crimson Tide football and basketball uniforms.

In winning Alabama Sports Writers Association “Mr. Football” honors, McKinstry had 45 receptions for 706 yards and 11 touchdowns, the last of which covered 52 yards in the Class 6A state championship game. Pinson Valley would go on to beat Spanish Fort 23-13, securing the program’s third state crown in four years.

McKinstry also won Alabama-Mississippi All-Star MVP and was named the 6A Back of the Year.   

Pinson Valley's Ga'Quincy McKinstry (1), a University of Alabama commit, smiles as Pinson Valley takes possession of the ball. Spanish Fort and Pinson Valley squared off at the AHSAA Class 6A state championship game on Dec. 4, 2020 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. [Photo/Hannah Saad]

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