Linnell Jones-Mckenney
Linnell, Basketball Pioneer

I grew up in Flint, MI as a 2-sport star. At Junior High School, I was the first girl to play on the boys' basketball team. While a student at Flint Northwestern high school, I was named All-City 3 times, set 3 records at the Champion of Champions Track Meet, and was MVP in basketball.
As a freshman at Ferris State University, I averaged 21.8 points per game, and 12.4 rebounds per game, and was an all-time letter winner at Saginaw Valley State, then transferred to Kentucky State, where I was an All-American and led with 108 steals.
In 1980, I tried out for the U.S. Olympic basketball team, and made the final cut alongside the likes of Sue Gunter and Cindy Noble. Then I was drafted fourth in the Women's Professional Basketball league by the St. Louis Streaks, ahead of Renee Ladner, who now coaches at Florida University.
I played with the Streaks for the 1980 and 1981 seasons, and was among the first Americans asked to play for the European Professional League. I played for the Italian team for 5 years, where I was a three-time MVP, a perennial All-Star, and scored a record 84 pts. in one game.
In 2002, I was inducted into the Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame, and in 2005 I was inducted into the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Linnell Jones-McKnenney with Hall of Fame Inductees
In a documentary of the history of basketball in Flint, MI, Coach John Hogan said "Linnell Jones was the best female player to come out of Flint."

Linnell McKenney, Motivatorů

Since retiring from basketball, I have focused my attention on working with youth. I have organized youth programs, sports camps, clinics and activities to help the youth in our community have a safe place to grow and learn, starting with a series of basketball camps and instructional videos I participated in along with NBA coach Mike D'Antoni. I currently run Dream Big Workshops along with my husband, where we host basketball camps for at-risk youth in hopes of instilling them with the skills and discipline they need to succeed, not just in basketball, but also in life.
I am also a motivational speaker and life coach, and I enjoy using my experiences and knowledge to encourage and motivate others young and old to set high goals for their lives and strive with everything within them to achieve those dreams. My goal is to get my students to see themselves as important individuals on this earth. I want to encourage them to have the vision to set positive life goals, and then indoctrinate them with the discipline and perseverance to see them through.

For More Information on Linnell Jones-McKenney

Information on her time in Italy

Her Hall of Fame Entry

An article about her courtesy of mlive.com

A Video courtesy of Mlive.com

More video from mlive.com


I have taught my philosophies of goal-setting, perseverance and discipline in my own home, and as a result, my two daughters are now both excellent student-atheletes in college. My eldest daughter Constance was an MVP at Clinton Junior college, where she earned her associates' degree, and is now pursuing a Sports Management degree at South Carolina University. Kimberly, my youngest daughter, is a 3rd year forward and art student at Gardener-Webb University, where in 2011 they were big South Conference champions. Constance McKenney Kimberly McKenney
Constance Kimberly