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East County Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 12 months ago

East County Athlete of the Week: Keon Buckley

The Lakewood Ranch junior talks dropping 30 points and taking the game seriously
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter

Keon Buckley is a junior guard on the Lakewood Ranch High boys basketball team. He scored a team-high 14 points Feb. 15 in the Mustangs' 50-22 home district title win against Palmetto High. 

When did you start playing basketball?

When I was 6. I started because I was really good. I was so much farther along athletically. The sport came naturally to me. 

What is the appeal to you?

Now, it's that our coach (Jeremy Schiller) does a great job of pushing you so hard, to the point where you almost want to quit. Once you get over that peak, the team just starts winning and playing well. Playing together as a team feels amazing. You just know you want to keep playing with these guys. 

What is your best skill?

My personality. I am always uplifting players and leading them toward what they need to do. 

What is your favorite memory?

Scoring 30 points on the road against Braden River High (Jan. 11, in a 69-33 win). Doing it at their place made it that much more special. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

When I was younger, I did not work on my game enough. I played for fun and did not take it seriously, to get to that next level. Shout out to coach Toby (Madison, Lakewood Ranch junior varsity coach) for getting my head right when I got here. 

What is your favorite food?

I have to go with baked potato soup. 

What is your biggest fear?

Cockroaches. Actually, no, it's grasshoppers. 

What is your favorite subject?

Math. I like it, it comes easy to me. 

What is the best advice you have received?

It is from my mom (Kim Buckley): 'Decide what will be, who you will be and how you are going to get it. As you think, so shall you become. We’re all born superstars, you just have to pull it out of yourself.' 

Finish this sentence: "Keon Buckley is ..."

... A try-hard. Everything I do, I do to the best of my ability. 

I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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