RJ Keene's time to shine starts now

By: JD Hurd II
| Published 07/14/2020

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- As a 6-foot-7, versatile guard/forward with the ability to shoot the lights out of the gym, class of 2021 hooper RJ Keene has offers from 17 schools and is rated as a three-star wing player by Rivals and a four-star, top 50 shooting guard by ESPN.

As he enters his senior season at Concordia Lutheran, Keene is poised to use his size and athleticism out on the perimeter to continue to impress college coaches and fans of his top six choices, Boise State, George Washington, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Iona, and Utah State.

The Woodlands resident has set his sights on six schools because of their perfect match with the style of play that makes Keene so effective on the court.

“All six schools play a style of basketball that I would succeed in and have great coaching staffs,” said Keene.

As with all high school athletes, Keene’s recruiting process has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring/summer is an important period for recruits to take college visits, but many of those have been nixed due to coronavirus. The pandemic has also interrupted the AAU basketball scene, a crucial part of gaining exposure and experience.

“I think [AAU] is extremely important,” said Keene. “I played on the EYBL, which is the highest form of AAU, competing versus the best competition. More exposure the better.”

The current recruiting classes may be dealing with unusual circumstances, but luckily for RJ Keene, he has a former college basketball player as a father to help guide him through the process.

Richard Keene was a 6-foot-6 guard at the University of Illinois from 1992-1996. During his time on the court for Fighting Illini, Richard Keene dropped 459 dimes, putting him eighth on the Illinois all-time assists list. RJ Keene’s shooting ability comes from his father, who hit 237 three-pointers in his career, finishing third on the Illinois all-time three’s list.

Clearly, there are a lot of similarities in Richard and RJ’s game, but there’s one thing RJ points out that separates the two.

“I think I have a similar playing style to my dad,” said RJ Keene. “We are both knockdown shooters, but I think I have more athleticism. I don’t think he was dunking like me.”

Richard Keene may not have the bounce like RJ does, but he does have experience with the college recruitment process, and RJ is very appreciative of his help.

“He has helped me a ton,” said Keene. “He’s been through the process too and has just helped guide me to find the best situation for me.”

When RJ Keene suits up for his senior season for the Crusaders, he looks to improve his three-point shooting. Keene wants to shoot 50% from behind the arc this year. Keene also said he wants to continue to model his game after NBA players Luka Doncic and Gordon Hayward. On the topic of the NBA, Keene said if he was a part of the NBA bubble in Orlando, he would be first in line to ride the Tower of Terror at Disney World.

As a junior, he averaged about 20 points per game with six assists and four boards per game. When his senior season tips off, make sure you give RJ Keene your full attention, he’s ready to put his name on the map.

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