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Super 5 girls basketball 2020: Sequoyah Tahlequah's Lexy Keys found her love for the game

Lexy Keys of Sequoyah Tahlequah will play college basketball at Texas-Arlington. [BYRON BEERS/TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS]
Lexy Keys of Sequoyah Tahlequah will play college basketball at Texas-Arlington. [BYRON BEERS/TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS]

TAHLEQUAH — Lexy Keys didn’t always have basketball aspirations.

She was a two-sport athlete who focused more on softball.

“I just committed to softball because that’s just what I knew," Keys said. "It’s what I grew up doing, competitively.”

Keys was no slouch at softball. She was beginning to earn attention from college scouts her eighth grade year. But after the 2016 summer, her sport aspirations changed.

“I started doing showcases with softball and I got a feel for that,” Keys said. “But it’s nowhere near the showcases for basketball. When you’re at a basketball tournament. You’re surrounded by people and I fell in love with that atmosphere.”

Keys put her full attention into basketball, practicing the game everyday, eventually earning a spot in the starting lineup her freshman year.

“I remember being really nervous,” Keys said. “Even in warmups. We were doing layups and stuff like that and I was nervous the whole time.”

Keys didn’t only feel anxious. She was thrilled at the possibility of playing in front of such a large crowd. It was the reason she had switched to basketball and chose to attend Sequoyah Tahlequah.

“Sequoyah travels with so many fans,” Keys said. “So I was scared to look up into the stands most of the time but it was really exciting just getting the experience."

Over time, she quickly became more comfortable. After her freshman year, Keys no longer felt nervous about looking into the large crowds the Indians brought. Every game she searched the stands for her parents and gave them a wave.

The Sequoyah Tahlequah guard has grown into one of the best players in the state of Oklahoma.

She’s a two-time state champion who won the Class 3A state tournament Most Valuable Player award. She’s been named tournament MVP at the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic in Ada and the Tri-State Classic.

Her newest honor is joining The Oklahoman’s Super 5.

The senior recorded 16.4 points, 4.8 assists, 4.2 steals and 3.6 rebounds to lead Class 3A No. 1 Sequoyah Tahlequah back to the state tournament, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although her high school career did not end the way she had hoped, Keys will begin a new journey after committing to Texas-Arlington. Another chance to play in the atmosphere she fell in love with.

James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›