Neither of his parents played basketball – his mother played softball and his father played football and baseball – but Isaac McKneely has loved the sport since the age of four. Through the combination of passion and skill, McKneely has become a star guard at Poca High School in West Virginia and one of the most highly regarded prospects in the class of 2022. This past Saturday, the 6’4”, 185-pound junior revealed he will be taking his talents to the University of Virginia to play for head coach Tony Bennett.
— Isaac McKneely (@IsaacMcKneely) January 30, 2021
The prized 4-star prospect, Virginia’s first commitment in the class of 2022 and first Cavalier men’s basketball commitment from West Virginia in 40 years, is the subject of our latest “Q&A” feature, where he discusses how he made his college decision, his recruitment, basketball and more.
Q&A WITH ISAAC MCKNEELY
Sabre Associate Editor Chris Horne: Congratulations on making your college decision! How special was this past weekend for you and your family?
ISAAC MCKNEELY: “I could’ve never dreamed I’d be where I am today, committing to Virginia. It definitely was an interesting weekend. I tweeted on Monday (Jan. 25) that I was going to commit. I was a little nervous, although I didn’t think there would be a lot of suspense because I saw some predictions that I was going to pick Virginia, so I thought most knew. When I tweeted on Saturday some people were still surprised, but I was still getting all love, even from fans of schools I didn’t commit to. A lot of kids dream of being in this position … I’m so blessed.”
Sabre Associate Editor Chris Horne: Did you keep the Virginia coaches in suspense? Or did you tell Coach Bennett of your plans beforehand?
MCKNEELY: “I think the Thursday (Jan. 21) before I tweeted on Monday was when I told Coach Bennett I was committing. I took the weekend and called all the other coaches and let them know I was going to commit to Virginia. I’d rather they find out from me directly than any other way.”
Sabre Associate Editor Chris Horne: How difficult was your decision and what separated Virginia?
MCKNEELY: “It was going to be a really tough decision no matter what, but especially in a year where I couldn’t take visits. It was a really tough decision. I had really good schools recruiting me and I had really good relationships. Ultimately, Virginia was the place for me. Our high school, we have been doing what they do for a while. Coach Bennett personally recruiting me was big. I spoke with Coach (Kyle) Getter here and there, but Coach Bennett was the one recruiting me and that meant a lot. We are a religious family and Coach Bennett is a religious person, so that meant a lot. There is the culture there, the Five Pillars, the family atmosphere … just everything.”
Welcome to the fam https://t.co/5TGDHt1iC5
— ty Jerome (@tyjerome_) January 30, 2021
I was so excited to see this news! I’ve watched @IsaacMcKneely from afar. An impressive young man who is well grounded. Aside from that, very talented too. He will be a great fit at Virginia and I can’t wait to welcome him. @UVAMensHoops
— Jimmy Miller (@JimmyMagicno4) January 31, 2021
Sabre Associate Editor Chris Horne: I noticed a number of former Hoos reaching out to you following your decision, like Justin Anderson and Ty Jerome. UVA color analyst Jimmy Miller, who starred as a prep player in West Virginia before attending UVA, tweeted about your decision....
Subscribe to read full story
Tired of low effort articles and clickbait? So are we. Subscribe to read great articles written by a full-time staff with decades of experience.
Already a subscriber? Login Here