‘Original Cinderella story’ coming to Kansas All-Star Coaches Clinic

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In 1986, Cleveland State pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.

Indiana, under coach Bob Knight, entered the tournament as a favorite to win the national championship, but in the first round, Kevin Mackey’s group had other plans.

No. 14 Cleveland State pulled off the 83-79 upset and Mackey held his fists above his head after the final buzzer rang.

Mackey’s group was called “The original Cinderella story.” Now, as a scout for the Indiana Pacers, he is coming to Kansas.

Mackey is the headline speaker at the Kansas All-Star Coaches Clinic, which is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at Pratt Community College. The clinic will also have representatives from the likes of Newman and Friends universities.

The clinic will feature demonstrations on junk, pack line and full-court pressure defenses along with early offense and quick decision making, according to a release.

Mackey’s story didn’t end with Cleveland State.

In 1990, Mackey was fired at Cleveland State after he was arrested for driving under the influence. A couple of days later, he held a news conference and said he was in a long-running battle with substance abuse.

He went to rehab and was banished to minor-league basketball for a dozen years before joining the Pacers. Since hopping on as a scout, he has earned credit for helping find players like Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Myles Turner.

This marks Mackey’s 18th season with the Pacers and 29th year of sobriety.

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Wichita Eagle preps reporter Hayden Barber brings the area updates on all high school sports while adding those hard-to-find human-interest stories on Wichita’s student-athletes.