1. Keatts had his first coaching experience as a college basketball player at Ferrum College in southwestern North Carolina. When the team’s head coach had a major accident, Keatts offered to help out the assistant coach. “That was really my first taste of coaching, and it helped me realize what it was what I wanted to do,” he says.
2. Keatts welcomes the challenge of developing chemistry between team veterans and the players he recruited this season. “Six new players is a lot to have on one team, so there are plusses and minuses,” he says. “There will be guys sitting out [due to NCAA transfer rules] who can see what we want them to become and can use the year to get better. There is a certain amount of excitement to it. We have versatile guys that can play multiple positions. That is something I always look for when recruiting players.”
3. In August, Coach Keatts took a trip to Italy with the basketball team, touring historical sites in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome and playing a few games to prepare for the season and bond with the players. The experience “allowed us to learn about each other on and off of the court and also to build some trust in one another,” Keatts says.
4. Keatts’ two sons, K.J. and Kaden, are also huge basketball fans. “They love being around the team and the program,” Keatts says. “They’re around the team a lot.”
5. Keatts prefers college sports to professional sports. “I appreciate professional sports, they are the best athletes in the world, but I’ve always been more into college sports,” he says. “I’m a big college football fan, college basketball fan. My team is NC State. They’re who I root for in everything.”