The Greater Washington basketball community notes the loss of Coach McKinley Armstrong. Coach was a loving father and dedicated teacher. He attended North Carolina College in the era of Sam Jones and Ernie Warlick. Most Washingtonians remember Armstrong as pilot of the dominant McKinley Tech teams of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, including 1969’s “Magnificent Seven”. That championship team featured four starters who were named to the Washington Post and Washington Star’s first team All-Metropolitan rosters, which is likely unprecedented and unrepeated.
Some of Coach’s powerhouse teams are referenced in the interviews with both Kevin Tatum and Mickey Michaels at www.dcbasketball.com. In one stretch culminating in their 1969 Interhigh championship victory, a Washington Post article from the time cites the Trainers as having won 34 consecutive public school opponents- a colossal achievement given the talent pool and hostile “away game” atmosphere of late 1960’s D.C. high school basketball. Armstrong’s outstanding players are too many to mention here, but included Ernest Lewis, Michael Sessoms, Kevin Tatum, Ronnie Hogue, “Apple” Milam, Michael Bossard, Tim Bassett, Jo Jo Hicks, “Nehru” Brown, Lonnie Perrin, Jeffrey Harrison, James Monroe, James Gorham, Xavier Yeoman, James Buckmon, Arthur Williams, “Cricket” Williams and “Zip” Evans.