Smith's basketball career to continue
Posted on: Apr 29, 2020
Keagen Smith’s athletic journey began long before he arrived in Delano, and it won’t end here either.
On Tuesday, April 21, Smith signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his basketball career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, a Division II program in Rapid City that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“I’ve always wanted to play basketball as far as I can. I love the sport,” Smith said after the signing, adding that the School of Mines contacted him last fall and became his favorite among several programs that recruited him. “I’ve grown to love the coaches and the family aspect of the team.”
Smith arrived in Delano as a junior in November of 2018 after a family move, just in time for basketball season. Playing as a small forward or shooting guard, he helped the Tigers to a 17-9 record. In his senior season, the Tigers went 22-4 to qualify for state, though the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. Smith scored 18.6 points per game for a total of 483 during the season.
While considering his college options, Smith said that in addition to the relationship he formed with the School of Mines and Technology coaching staff, he also appreciated the school’s academic reputation.
“It’s one of the best engineering schools in the country, which is right up my alley,” he said, adding that he plans to start off studying industrial engineering. “I don’t want to just go to school for basketball. I want to focus on my future too. They give me a good balance of both.”
Delano head basketball coach Terry Techam said Smith has the tools to succeed in a variety of ways.
“Keagen is an outstanding basketball player who can shoot the three and get to the basket, but more importantly he is a great young man,” Techam said. “He not only excels on the basketball court but also in the classroom and in the community. Keagen will have a ton of success at the next level due to his work ethic. The Delano basketball program wishes him the best of luck moving forward.”
Smith grew up in Illinois but moved to Michigan after his freshman year of high school. He played football, basketball and baseball in both states before coming to Delano.
“Competition-wise, Minnesota basketball is probably the best,” Smith said. “And also the teams I’ve played on in Delano have been the best.”
While his career in Delano was relatively brief, Smith said it has been valuable.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “I’ve loved the camaraderie with my teammates last year and this year. Coach Techam is a great guy. It has definitely helped me form relationships and it’s good for my future.”
Three-sport athletes are less common in the current climate of sports specialization, but Smith said a balanced approach to athletics kept him fresh and developed his skills in different ways.
“Each sport works its own group of muscles. That helps you with coordination and teamwork and all that stuff. So having different experiences all built together can help you,” Smith said.
He said that while he enjoyed all three sports equally while growing up, basketball began to emerge as his favorite during high school.
“I would say that was the season I was most excited for, but if I had focused only on basketball it could have burned me out,” he said
Aside from his family, Smith credited his coaches in all three states with helping him to become a next-level athlete.
“My friends have definitely helped too,” he said. “They are like-minded. They push me and I push them, so that definitely helps the competition.”
When not on the basketball court, Smith played as a wide receiver, tight end and safety on the football team, and as a pitcher, first baseman or outfielder on the baseball team.
Post Categories: High School