Get to Know the 7’3 Family Giant

Dynesty Johnson, Contributing Writer

Being taught something is hard, whether it’s a new task at work, a new move in the sport you play, or even just trying new things in general. But when you overcome that feeling and become successful – especially compared to when you first started – it’s an amazing feeling. Being taught by someone like my cousin is like being close with mother nature. Everyone enjoys the weather they prefer, but when it rains a little too hard or if it gets too hot or cold, it changes the mood.  The same is true if you mess up; it can throw you off just like the weather.  But, in the end, the sun still shines and the game gets better. 

Keith Closs was born and raised in Hartford, Ct. He played basketball at SCSU and ended up playing in the NBA for 3 seasons and played in the G league for about 8 years and eventually stopped playing. But why? Keith stated “ It wasn’t my chance to shine anymore. I know I could help people become what they want to be.” Many people did not understand. He got traded to the Idaho stampede and just didn’t show up to any practices or their camps. What was his next move after going to be? Why did he give up that opportunity? He played overseas in the Dominican Republic,Germany, Lebanon, and Germany. Family and friends still didn’t get why he did that. Keith had been through alot growing up as a kid. Addiction runs in the family so having parents that aren’t the greatest but still trying is hard to deal with.So being able to get that success in the family was a big deal. He took time for himself for a few. People were getting worried but it was for him to find himself. 

Keith started training teenagers so they could better themselves. He wanted to boost their confidence and make them their absolute best so they didn’t make the same mistakes he did. He pushed them very hard and there are always going to be rough days while being pushed to do things for the better that just life. The main question was do you really want it? It is as in do you really want to make it to the league? Do you take this game seriously or do you just play for fun? It’s a good question coaches like to ask because if it’s okay to not take the game as seriously as others but people all around are fighting to earn a spot in the big league. For the people who do take it seriously it’s a good experience; it just comes with multiple challenges. You’re going to want to give up sometimes and you’re going to think that the coach is harder on you but in all reality when a coach is harder on you they see the good in you and know that you need this type of treatment. Keith did that to many of his athletes because he knew their worth when it came to this sport. He yelled when he needed to, he talked to players about their progress, he told them the truth instead of letting them think they were 100% correct. But in all reality he cared for them, he knew what was best for each kid, and he made time for them so he could get to know them. He was not yelling at them because he wanted to, he wasn’t pushing them just cause he wanted to see them tired, He did it for love because they want to be in the league so he pushed them to be the best they could be. The people who cared about him slowly started to realize that he was doing all this because he didn’t have training clinics and a positive environment growing up, so he wanted that change to be from him. Keith was asked If you could go back to time and still play in the NBA and G league would you? He stated “ You know what? no because If I could help the kids that went through what I went through I would do this a million times over paying with rich people who have their futures planned out.” It all made sense. He was so happy to be drafted to the NBA and just like that he didn’t care for it like he used to. Keith was more than just a former NBA G league player. He was a motivator, mentor, coach,and a great person to be around.