McKinnie was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Elisa Bryant and Alfonzo McKinnie, Sr in 1992. He attended and played basketball at Chicago's Curie Metropolitan High School for his first two years of high school. McKinnie then played his final season at Marshall Metropolitan High School, averaging 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game to garner All-Red West Conference honors. In 2016, he won a silver medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA 3x3 World Championship in Guangzhou, China. Learn more about McKinnie by following him on Twitter (@_Alvo_) and Instagram (@_alvo_). McKinnie toiled for four seasons in small conferences in the Midwest as a defensive specialist. The 6-foot-7 forward initially played for Eastern Illinois. He started five games as a freshman and averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds. The forward joined the Panthers' starting lineup as a sophomore and provided 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds. He decided to transfer after his sophomore season and took his talents to UW-Green Bay. While sitting out the 2012-13 season, McKinnie tore his MCL. He appeared in only nine games off the bench in 2013-14 and tore his MCL again, eventually having it removed. The Chicago native started 20 games as a redshirt senior and put up 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds for a team that went 12-4 in the Horizon League.