FLINT (WJRT) (02/18/19) - Flint native Linnell Jones McKinney has been recognized in many ways over the years for her stellar basketball career.
She forever will be enshrined in the National Basketball Hall of Fame as a trailblazer for females playing the sport in the U.S.
Jones-McKenney excels at two things: basketball, a game she spent more than 50 years perfecting, and helping children succeed in life, an even greater passion.
"We are obligated to provide for these young people a platform to develop their gifts and their talent," she said.
Much of McKenney's work with the youth takes place at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village in Flint. The gymnasium there is now named after the Hall of Famer.
"I was speechless and I can talk all day about working with young people," McKenney said.
Her dream of playing professional basketball took flight at the age of 8. Despite the naysayers, she achieved her goal.
Now she wants to let the children of Flint, know their dreams are possible too, no matter the obstacles. To do that, McKennney has spent 40 years inspiring kids to reach for the stars, beyond the basketball court that now bears her name.
She believes being recognized for both by her community is an honor.and an opportunity.
"Somebody will have an opportunity to say, 'I'm able to accomplish things because she did. I'm able to be the best that I can be because she lived,'" McKenney said. "And I really believe that's my call, that's my purpose, that's why I'm here."