Kyle Keyes Post Game Interview: Video Interview
See Kyle Keyes In Action At: Kyle Keyes Highlights
Kyle Keyes was born in the Bay Area of San Francisco California and moved to the Eastside of Seattle when he was 3 years old. Kyle began playing basketball when he could walk. By age 5 he was competing in basketball, football, baseball and soccer. A natural born leader, Keyes was the Quarterback for his football teams, Lead-off hitter, Pitcher and 2nd Baseman in baseball, Center Forward on his soccer teams and Point Guard throughout his basketball career. He would have it no other way.
Kyle attended Rose Hill Elementary and Rose Hill Junior High. He then went to Lake Washington High-School where he was a two sport star as a First Team All-KingCo Quarterback his Senior year beating out Raider Quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo who then played for Woodinville High. Keyes threw for over 1,200 yards, 12 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 67% his senior season. His passion remained basketball.
Kyle struggled with off the court issues as a youth and a broken family life. Things were never easy. Family member’s drug problems and family issues kept Kyle away from home a lot and most of the time he found his only refuge at the courts out on the black top where he would, often times, stay and play for 8+ hours. Unfortunately this also cut into his academic standing at Lake Washington High-School where his grades slowly began to slip to failure.
Kyle Says: “I could make money many different ways. The main reason that I started i-Ball was to give kids something that I didn’t have…a mentor on and off the court, guidance and a sense of purpose and direction for my goals and my life as a whole. I feel more deeply about this than I do about most anything in life…I want to help other kids succeed in life the right way and reach their full potential, whatever that may be, it doesn’t have to be basketball. Life is full of choices and challenges and without the proper guidance and oversight we lose kids and those kids grow up to lose their kids and the cycle continues. I want to break that cycle at every point that I have the energy to do so!”
Kyle lost out on ALL Division 1 scholarship offers and opportunities. He was forced to stay home and attend Junior College to get his grades up and keep his dream alive of playing professional basketball. His first year of Junior College at Edmunds CC he humbly found himself on the bench as the 3rd string Point Guard averaging only 10 minutes per game but still producing an 8ppg and 3.4apg average with a high game of 21 in one half of a game at a National Junior College Tournament at the College of Southern Idaho vs. Maryland JC (#8 Country). Through the help of family (who had now become closer) and friends Keyes decided to transfer back to Bellevue CC where he originally had committed to play for Hall of Fame Coach Ernie Woods.
Training Lessons…Don’t over train…
During the off season after his freshman year Keyes worked so tirelessly and continuously (5 hours a day minimum) that he over trained and unknowingly had developed a slight stress fracture in his mid-tibia of his right shin. Keyes ignored the injury and played his sophomore season at Bellevue against the wishes of his new coach Pat Leonard who suggested that he redshirt, rest and come back the following year at 100%. Nobody but his coach and his family knew of the injury and a few teammates. The broken leg plagued him all year but he still compiled averages of (2nd All Time In Bellevue College History) 24ppg 7.5apg 4rpg 3.4spg to earn himself a Full ride offer from Schools such as Oregon State, San Diego, Boise State, New Mexico St. and The University of Montana. Keyes would ultimately accept his scholarship to Montana where he gained National attention as the Pre-Season Newcomer of the Year in the Big Sky Conference. It appeared he was on his way to the NBA.
Unfortunately the damage that he did to his leg by playing on the stress fracture for an entire year was too much for an off-season of healing and subsequent injuries followed and dashed all hopes of being an NBA draft pick. With the renewed fracture back, Keyes would sit out the remainder of his junior season at Montana after just 8 games (while still having highs of 18pts and 10ast in games and making the All-Tournament Team in the fall). He came back for his senior season only to tear his ACL in his left knee 1 week prior to official team practice in the fall.
The same old lesson here is to never give up…Believe in God…
Keyes got his surgery and returned for a less than dramatic senior season in his 5th year as Montana had already went another direction at Point Guard, Keyes saw spot minutes and put up no numbers worth noting. What he did do was prove to himself that he can do anything. He came back from 2 severe and career threatening injuries to return to the Division 1 level and compete in 30 games and put together a highlight tape that would ultimately draw interest from a few NBA coaches.
Keyes came back home and was cut from his first pro team that he signed with, the Saskatchewan Hawks of the CBA. He then drove to Portland for a tryout with the Hall of Fame Globetrotters for the Harlem All-Stars. He made it and this began the resurrection of a career that was dormant for going on 5 years.
After playing for the Harlem All-Stars Keyes says that everyone was back in his corner again. “When you’re injured at a time like I was, during the most important years of your basketball career then people just write you off because the possibilities for you as a professional player go from the usual 1% to about .02% which is basically impossible. Hall of Famers Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal didn’t know about my injuries when I went to the tryout in Portland so they saw me for what I was, a basketball player, not a washed up injured prospect. They signed me immediately after the first 2 pick up games. Meadowlark called me over and said, I saw you play and I saw you shoot, now can you dunk? I walked up to the rim and threw down a 360 and Meadowlark said sign him! That was the best feeling in my entire basketball career and still is to this day. They believed in me when no one else did. They gave me my shot, they resurrected my career and shortly after that the Sonics called and brought me into pre season camp. All it takes is one person to believe in you and it can make the difference in your life. If that one person is you then you can make a difference every day!”
It was no accident…
Kyle-“I truly believe that God has a plan for us all. If I never had these injuries I would be in the NBA oblivious to many of the things that human beings go through. Being knocked off of my fast track was the worst thing that ever happened to me in basketball but the best thing that ever happened to me as a person…I wouldn’t change it for anything. I understand people and have empathy for their successes and failures and I hope to be a part of both the successes and the struggles in the lives of people for the rest of my life.”
Kyle continues to play basketball professionally and work tirelessly to improve the lives of others through his work with i-Ball and communities.
i-Ball-“Own Your Game!”
KYLE KEYES BASKETBALL BIO:
Kyle is a “LOCKDOWN DEFENDER”, plain and simple (Keyes holds opponents to less than 1/2 their scoring avg)! He is a Point Guard who gets his teammates involved with great decision making ability. Kyle has Blazing Speed and Quickness (the fastest player you will see on the court). Keyes handles the ball exceptionally well and gets to the paint whenever he wants, finishing with either hand. Keyes can shoot the NBA 3 and is also very dangerous with his pull-up off the dribble, a great jump shooter.
Kyle Keyes is the Total Package at 6’1” 183lbs with a 6’41/2″ wingspan and amazing athletic ability (able to 360 dunk), Keyes is a true professional who is dedicated to this game and just needs the right opportunity.
Keyes has worked out for several NBA teams including the Seattle Sonics and most recently the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2007. Keyes played the ’06-’07 season in Seattle for the King County Royals of the ABA. Keyes was arguably the top Point Guard in the ABA in ’06-’07 while averaging 21ppg 10.5ast 4reb 3.1stl per contest. Those numbers were good fortop25 in scoring average, 2nd in assists & 3rd in steals in the ABA last season. Keyes most recently attended the 2008 NBDL Pre-Draft Camp.
-Former Globetrotter’s Harlem All-Star Point Guard ’04-’06
-Signed an NBDL Contract
-NBDL, CBA, ABA, XBA/MBA & IBL (signed or played in every professional league of note in the United States save the NBA)