Wendell McKines added his name to the list of legendary performances delivered at Kezar Pavilion, the 85-year-old arena at the southeast corner of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
A 22-year-old Richmond High graduate, McKines thrilled a crowd of 3,000, scoring 53 points to lead his Bay Pride team to a 115-111 overtime defeat of the Dream Team in the championship game of the San Francisco Summer Pro-Am Basketball League.
"Man, it feels it good," McKines said while signing autographs and posing for pictures at midcourt after Tuesday night's game. "I take a lot of pride being from this area. I look up to all the players that came before me. For me to be in their class is just an honor."
The San Francisco Pro-Am, completing its 32nd summer season, has featured the likes of Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Quintin Dailey and Tim Hardaway. Kezar was home to USF basketball in the 1950s, and Bill Russell made his collegiate debut in the building with a triple-double against Cal.
McKines, a New Mexico State senior, held his own with the immortals. He was MVP of the summer league, averaging 34.4 points and 15.1 rebounds for the round-robin champions. He had 31 points in Monday's best-of-three championship series opener, then carried his team in the clincher.
Ten months after suffering a broken foot that cost him the 2010-11 college season, McKines showed his old explosiveness. He had 14 dunks and also scored 14 overtime points Tuesday.
"I just wanted to take over the game. I didn't want to play Thursday," the 6-foot-6 forward said. "It was for the fans."
A prep phenom at Richmond, where he averaged 35 points as a senior in 2006-07, McKines was on the cusp of reaching 1,000 career points and rebounds at New Mexico State when he broke his foot last October.
Missing the season was tough, but there was an upside -- McKines put himself in position to graduate next May after his final season.
"This summer all I wanted to do was work hard," he said. "This was an opportunity for me to challenge myself, and I did. Life throws things at you. I just had to bounce back."