Lady Indian signs basketball letter of intent with Texas-Arlington

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
01/02/2020 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Sequoyah High School’s Lexy Keys sits between her former basketball coach Larry Callison, left, and the University of Texas at Arlington women’s basketball coach Justin Brown, right, at a letter of intent signing event on Dec. 2 at SHS in Tahlequah. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – One of the most sought after high school basketball prospects ended the suspense when she applied her signature to a national letter of intent on Dec. 2.

Lexy Keys, the stellar senior guard for Sequoyah High School, made it official during a brief lunchtime ceremony at “The Place Where They Play” on the SHS campus, signing with the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I took official visits to (the University of Tulsa) and UTA,” Keys said. “At UTA, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the feeling of home and the family oriented things they have there. The thing that really got me was (UTA head coach Krista Gerlich) has philosophies, and she wants us to be students. I want to be a student and I don’t want to stop learning.”

For all of the Lady Indians’ success in recent years, they have not sent any players into the NCAA Division I arena since around 2010. Keys is the first D-I signee during the recent run of state titles and state tournament appearances for SHS girls basketball.

“It feels good to get the decision made,” she said. “The night I told my parents, I said I’d finally decided and called coach Gerlich and told her. It felt like something had been picked up off my shoulders and I was finally able to relax.”

As a freshman and sophomore, Keys helped the Lady Indians earn state titles in 2017 and 2018, winning MVP honors in the state tournament as a freshman. She was also a member of Sequoyah's 2018 fast-pitch softball state championship squad, and was named all-state this year by the Oklahoma High School Fast-pitch Softball Coaches Association.

Her most recent accolade was awarded in the Dec. 23 issue of the Muskogee Phoenix, which named her Athlete of the Week after she scored 23 points, including shooting 12 of 13 from the free throw stripe, in 3A No. 1 Sequoyah’s 42-36 victory over 4A No. 5 Victory Christian.

Following her junior year, she was named Athlete of the Year by the Muskogee Phoenix after averaging 19.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and three steals per game. She was 81 percent from the line and hit 43 percent of her 3-point attempts. She also hit .377 during fast-pitch softball season, accumulating 32 RBI and four home runs, along with 21 stolen bases and a .960 fielding percentage.

Keys’ basketball coach through her first three seasons was Larry Callison. Her new coach for the 2019-20 season is Justin Brown.

“Coaching Lexy has been a really good experience, and I am really looking forward to the season we will have this year,” Brown said. “Having leaders like Lexy just makes the process easier. I think she has made a great choice with the college she has chosen, knowing the coaches there. I’m really excited for what the future holds for her.”

With her decision made on with whom to sign, Keys can now narrow her focus on being a high school senior.

“I’m going to step back, have fun, and enjoy every minute of these last few months,” she said.
About the Author
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. 

He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...

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