Josh McKinney

For the last two years, I have participated in the YMCA of Catawba Valley’s adult basketball league. Games are played on Sundays from late January through April at the Hickory Foundation YMCA and the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA in Conover.

While it has been fun, I haven’t exactly been thrilled with my team’s win-loss record. We only won one game in 2018, although that one win came in the playoffs (thankfully every team qualifies for the postseason). And despite having a mostly new roster this past season, my team only earned two victories and was forced to forfeit our final two games due to, well, lack of involvement from some of the other players on the team.

This year, I’m hoping my third time participating in the league will be the charm. We will again have several new players, but I’m excited to play with these guys. I don’t expect us to win a league championship, but I do expect a vast improvement in team chemistry, which could certainly lead to an extra win or two given what I’ve experienced in the past.

It’s hard to be the captain of a basketball team, particularly a group of adults. There’s so much to manage, even more so than I expected when I decided to put a squad together a few years ago. I’m not the most talkative person in the world either, so that makes it tough to be in a leadership role, but sometimes I think it’s healthy to put yourself in an uncomfortable position and allow yourself to grow.

I believe I’ve shown growth during my first two years. I’m a little more vocal than I used to be and I’ve learned more about what it takes to compete with some of the elite teams in the YMCA league. Some of those guys have been playing together for years, so their team chemistry is much higher, and quite frankly some players are just more talented than others.

Not only that, but I’m also more confident this year because I’m coming off my best individual performance ever in our final game a season ago. And that was against the top team in our league, so you can see why I would be excited to get back out on the court. I have put in more individual work during the offseason than I did a year ago as well, but it’s almost time to kick it into high gear and start ramping up the intensity with some team practices and scrimmages.

There’s nothing like being part of a team, especially for a competitive person like myself. I expect to go out and compete at a high level every time I’m on the court. I’m a 3-point specialist, so I always believe I have the ability to outshoot anyone I go up against.

Yes, I’m 29 years old and part of me is trying to relive the glory of my younger days. But don’t think I don’t have a little something left in the tank. I still love basketball and I look forward to playing for as long as I can.

All I can say is this: thank God for the YMCA adult basketball league. When I’ve had a difficult week, stepping on that court on Sundays gives me an escape from the real world. And when I’ve had a really good week, the opposing team better watch out because my confidence is going to be sky high.

I can’t wait for the 2020 season. It’s still over four months away, but with the way time flies, the first game will be here before you know it.

And oh by the way, if you’re an adult who’s looking for a basketball team to play on, hit me up. We just might have a spot for you.


Josh McKinney is the sports editor for the Hickory Daily Record. Reach him at

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Josh McKinney is the sports editor for the Hickory Daily Record. 

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