Missouri lands in-state guard Mario McKinney

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Missouri landed another St. Louis prospect Monday, this one with a Tigers lineage.

Mario McKinney, a top-150 point guard prospect in 2019, committed to coach Cuonzo Martin and Missouri, giving the Tigers their first commitment in the class.

“In my neighborhood, a lot of kid don’t get the opportunity I have,” McKinney said in a commitment video he posted to social media. “I just took that, and I ran with it.

“I will be attending the University of Mizzou.”

McKinney is the cousin of Jimmy McKinney, who played for the Tigers in 2002-06.

“With the McKinney name on my back,” Mario said, “it holds a lot because the McKinneys before me.”

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17 points, six boards and four assists last season while starring at Vashon High School, which he has led to back-to-back state championships.

“He came in as a freshman and was athletic with some quickness and a level of toughness about him,” Vashon coach Tony Irons told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Now as you watch his growth you can see he’s developed. He’s not complete yet, but he’s someone with the skill level of being able to play Division I basketball.

“He’s gotten better at making people better. He kept his competitiveness. He’s gotten more athletic. He’s constantly working on his shot. He’s on his way to becoming a complete player.”

Martin, who hails from East St. Louis, Ill., has cleaned up in the St. Louis area since taking over the Tigers two years ago. He’s landed five players, including Jeremiah Tilmon, from St. Louis during his tenure, making one of the state’s biggest metropolitan areas and basketball hotbeds a stronghold for the Tigers.