CINCINNATI — The year is up for debate but the fact remains that Alex McGlothin knows he won the most recent one-on-one basketball game with his younger brother, Walnut Hills High School star Tyler McKinley.
That game could've been McKinley's sixth grade year. Or maybe it was before he entered the eighth grade.
Either way, McGlothin, a Walnut Hills assistant coach and McKinley, a 6-foot-9 power forward, have always shared a common bond through basketball.
The siblings enjoyed reminiscing about that connection in the Walnut Hills gymnasium earlier this week. It made for a few laughs and good conversation.
"We just spend a lot of time with each other at home watching basketball," said McKinley, who is rated Ohio's No. 1 boys basketball player in the 2024 class by 247 Sports. "We like to go out to eat, get breakfast. We like eating good food. It's always a good home feeling to be with my brother. It's like my twin."
McGlothlin, 29, helps McKinley, 16, with his game throughout the year.
"I've tried to get the best out of him for so long and I think at this point he's maximizing it," said McGlothin, a 2011 Walnut Hills graduate and former Northern Kentucky University player.
McKinley started playing competitive basketball during second grade and has been inspired by McGlothin, who has continually worked with him to improve at both ends of the floor.
Those efforts have certainly paid dividends.
Rated the nation's No. 12 power forward in his class, McKinley has nine scholarship offers including University of Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Kansas State, South Carolina, West Virginia, Dayton, Ohio University and Miami University.
"My goal is going to the NBA and helping my mom (Arlinda McKinley) and my brother have a better life than what we do right now," McKinley said. "That would mean the world. It's like a little kid's dream coming true."
McKinley is certainly on the right path. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks as the Eastern Cincinnati Conference player of the year this past season. He was a Division I honorable mention all-state selection, too.
"I really can't even tell you how proud I am. How proud our mom is of what Tyler has done on and off the court," McGlothin said. "Just watching him grow into the young man that he is becoming it just really has been a blessing overall, honestly."
While basketball is often center stage, McKinley has interests beyond the game.
"Tyler is literally just like a giant 6-foot-9 teddy bear when he's off the court," McGlothin said. "He doesn't really get caught up in the attention and the hype. He's a very humble kid."
McKinley enjoys writing essays along with his go-to subjects of science and history in school. He has an affinity for animals and likes learning about snakes, lions, tigers — anything that lives in the wild.
"I used to put on 'Animal Planet' and just watch it for hours at a time," McKinley said. "A lot of people don't know that."
A lot of people will certainly know about McKinley in the next two years. He is the second Greater Cincinnati boys basketball player to be rated No. 1 in the state in his respective class this past season.
McGlothin believes with McKinley's mindset, versatility and unselfishness the sky is the limit for his younger brother in basketball and in life.
"I say all the time that I'm just glad that I get a front-row experience just to see what he's becoming and what he's going to end up doing on and off the court," McGlothin said.