Thursday, September 17, 2015

Seasoned veterans: Laney's Keeling and Jasper (Preseason post 1 of 30)

See why I believe this duo will make Laney the area's best team. Again.               

At a recent coaching clinic, Division 2 coaching legend Gordon Gibbons made a persuasive case for how difficult it is to earn a college basketball scholarship. Simply put, there are 50 scholarships available to graduating high school seniors every year in Georgia. There are over 500 players each season who are their teams' best players, recognized as all state performers, or otherwise considered, surely by their parents and themselves, as worthy of free educations by way of playing hoops. But the math dictates that only one of every ten guys will actually earn a scholarship. Not because the other nine can't play. There just aren't enough spots at the colleges.

Senior Zep Jasper (Laney) will play at the College of Charleston after he attempts to lead the Wildcats to another Final 4.

If you don't like the math, just look at our area and find that three players earned scholarships to four year schools last season and only three in this year's senior class currently have such offers on the table. Which brings me to my first pre-season post, highlighting two of the area's "seasoned veterans" who will make a huge impact this season: Laney's senior guards Zep Jasper and Christian Keeling. Jasper has committed to the College of Charleston and Keeling has scholarship offers from several division 1 schools. Laney's recent tradition of area dominance and the return of these two dynamos place the Wildcats in firm position to defend their place at the top of the area hill.

Senior Christian Keeling joins teammate Jasper as first team All Region 3-AAA performers

These two will certainly receive the best shots area teams and players have to give. But performing against the area's best is something this duo has done consistently ever since arriving on Laney's campus as freshmen. No players have logged as many big minutes and big games, and made the type of impact Jasper and Keeling have made these past several years. Now they will assume the leadership roles for what could remain the area's premiere powerhouse. I can't wait to enjoy their final season in Augusta.

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