Antioch, Tenn. — The 2020 Coach K Combine provided an excellent opportunity for more than one hundred middle school-aged players from across the southeast region to be evaluated in an organized and competitive environment. The event was created and hosted…
Antioch, Tenn. — The 2020 Coach K Combine provided an excellent opportunity for more than one hundred middle school-aged players from across the southeast region to be evaluated in an organized and competitive environment. The event was created and hosted by N.Y.B.A. (Nashville Youth Basketball Association) and its program director, David Keary, better known in youth hoops circles as Coach K.
One of the most impressive performers at the event was Class of 2025 point guard, King Keary King Keary 5'10" | PG TN , who happens to be the son of the aforementioned N.Y.B.A. founder. In an exclusive interview with both father and son, Prep Hoops Next spoke with the duo about the trials and tribulations that can exist when lines are blurred between the father-and-son versus coach-and-player relationship.
“Sure, I guess there could some pressure there,” said David Keary when asked about his expectations as a coach and father. “Truthfully, that’s where I have to give King all of the credit. He’s not worried about my businesses, my organizations, and my events. Hype or hate; it doesn’t matter. He just wants to play basketball. He’s constantly in the gym, and when he’s not there, he is asking me to take him [to the gym].”
A natural gymrat, the youth hoops community was beginning to take notice of Keary’s rapid progression just as the country was locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Keary has capitalized on the last several months, taking time to improve both his game and his physique.
“[King] has really hit his stride physically”, Keary stated. “I don’t know exactly when, but I think he had a mental recognition of what he needed to do in order to be the best that he can be. He is taking it more seriously; the game was always a hobby for him, but now he’s very passionate. He’s starting to get some athleticism and quickness as well and I’m encouraging him to play more physical.”
The 5-foot-11 lead guard was able to show much of his recent improvement at the 2020 Coach K Combine. At that event, Keary commanded the ball, demonstrating not only his shooting ability but also his aptitude to make plays for others. He has a good build, was confident with the ball in his hands, and appeared to be making steady progress as a finisher in the lane.
“He has always been a reliable set shooter. That part of his game definitely translates,” commented Keary. “Defense isn’t always [strong] in camp environments, but I think he showed that he is getting more comfortable off the dribble. In a game setting, I trust him with the ball. He is reading defenses better. He is anticipating better. I want him to see more contact so he can continue to learn how to adapt and play through it.”
The upcoming high school basketball season is likely to provide an added element of physicality and competition for Keary. As an eighth-grader, he’ll be thrust into the varsity lineup at Goodpasture Christian School in Nashville, Tennessee. Fortunately, Keary will have help in the backcourt, and is excited to play alongside touted Class of 2023 prospect Isaiah West.
“Playing with Isaiah has helped my game a lot,” the younger Keary proclaimed. “He’s a great player and I’m able to compete against him in practice. He gets a lot of recognition, but he wants our team to get recognition, also. I’m a point guard that can shoot, but I like helping [Isaiah], and setting him up to make plays for our team. I think he’s helped me the most on the defensive end [of the court]. I’m working on my on-the-ball defense. I’ve learned that need to be more active with my hands and my feet.”
While maturity can be difficult to quantify, there are obvious intangible factors that have helped separate Keary from his peers in the Class of 2025 thus far. His desire to improve as well as his ownership of the game from the point guard position will serve him well immediately and in the future. Expect to see and hear more about David “King” Keary in the coming seasons.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!