Kool-Aid McKinstry provides update on possibility of playing multiple sports

Griffin McVeigh08/09/22
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kool-Aid McKinstry was a two-sport star in high school and was being recruited as such by multiple programs. His decision came down to Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia, with football and basketball coaches putting in work to land the talented athlete. In the end, Nick Saban and Nate Oats won out, landing a five-star prospect, at least on the gridiron.

The original plan was for McKinstry to play both football and basketball in Tuscaloosa but of course, have the former be his main focus. McKinstry got to practice with Oats’ squad during his freshman year but now, basketball is off the table. Football will become the cornerback’s sole focus, he revealed to the media on Tuesday.

In high school, McKinstry helped Pinson Valley High School to a 28-4 record, averaging just over 15 points per game. He added five rebounds and nearly four assists a night, proving to also be one of the state’s top basketball players. However, the upside in football was too big to pass up the opportunity.

McKinstry is expected to be a starting cornerback for Alabama this year, being one of two new guys on the outside. However, Eli Ricks and Khyree Jackson are also competing for a spot, meaning McKinstry will have to continue working throughout training camp.

Last season’s national championship loss may have been a motivating factor for McKinstry when it comes to focusing on football. He said his goal coming into college was lifting the trophy with Alabama and now, will have two more opportunities to do so.

“I always told my mom I didn’t know what position I’d be playing, but I knew I wanted to play for Alabama in a national championship,” McKinstry said via Bama Insider’s Clint Lamb.

Kool-Aid McKinstry, fellow DB involved with basketball program

McKinstry is not the only Alabama defensive back who has been involved with the basketball program. Fellow cornerback Terrion Arnold was also recruited as a two-sport athlete but failed to make it to the hardwood during his freshman season. Recently, Arnold said discussions have been held with Oats about getting back into basketball. He will be taking the opposite approach of McKinstry, attempting to play both.

Either way, whether Arnold or McKinstry play basketball, Oats and his team will be fine going forward. Currently in Barcelona on a European Trip, the Crimson Tide once again has high expectations for the 2022-2023 season. Freshman Brandon Miller has been turning a lot of heads early on. Experienced talent also returns to Tuscaloosa.

While Oats would love to add some athleticism to his roster — and still might with Arnold — everyone knows which sport takes priority at Alabama. Especially for a defensive back.