|Shooting guard / Small forward|
November 2, 1978 |
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|High school||Manual (Peoria, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||2001 / Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Peoria, Illinois, Sergio was the star player on one of the top high school teams in the nation, Peoria Manual High School, and led them to an unprecedented four consecutive state titles, a feat that stood alone in the IHSA record book until Jabari Parker led Simeon Career Academy to four state championships from 2010-13. Sergio was a three time all-state selection, and Conference Player of the Year in 1997. Ultimately, he was named 1997 Illinois Mr. Basketball.
McClain later played for Lon Kruger and Bill Self at the University of Illinois, along with his high school teammates Marcus Griffin and Frank Williams. "The Peoria 3" anchored one of the Big Ten's top teams during their time there and the Illini ultimately earned a number one seed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Elite 8. His intimidating stature led Illini football coach Ron Turner to approach him about trying out for his team as a linebacker or safety, but after a few practices, McClain decided to focus on basketball.
McClain's father, Wayne, coached Manual High School during its title run, and after Sergio graduated from Illinois, Wayne joined Bill Self's staff as an assistant coach, where he continued to work under Bruce Weber, eventually following Weber to Kansas State. Sergio, often referred to as a physical and cerebral player, followed in his father's footsteps, having served as a player-coach in the ABA and was the head coach of the men's basketball program at Parkland College  in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois from 2008 - 2009.
Said McClain about his father's influence on him:
- "I've been an apprentice to a Jedi my whole life," Sergio said of his father. "Now I've graduated and I'm the Jedi master. Now I have the apprentices."