Jason Keegstra - Of Bikes and Basketball

Jason Keegstra

Men's Basketball
Forward
Third Year
6'7"

Humans have always loved the idea of flight. From the Wright Brothers in the early 1900’s at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to another gravity-defying pioneer from the Tar Heel State like Michael Jordan, we dream to fly. This even applies to athletes of the six CIS teams at Trinity Western University: we were asking a series of questions for their website profiles, and found that if given a super power, about 80% of them wanted to fly.

So Spartans basketball forward Jason Keegstra is no different. Growing up in Dawson Creek, B.C., he started playing hoops because of his older brother, and like most fans of the game in the 1990’s, ended up loving “His Airness” Michael Jordan. But at the age of 13, he found another way to fly in Northern B.C.: mountain biking.

“In Dawson Creek there’s not a whole lot to do so my friends and I started mountain biking, and we’d go out every day after school until dark,” Jason says of his early teens. “It kept me out of trouble, and also made me a lot stronger. There was a lot of cross-training aspects that worked to my advantage. A lot of my vertical was developed because of that, and I could jump a lot higher.”

Jason’s game on the court was starting to take off too. In grade 10 he and his brother achieved a dream by playing together on the varsity squad. Shortly after his dad was transferred to Vernon, B.C. for work, and Jason would have to leave his mountain biking friends behind. Although he says it was an adjustment transferring school in grade 11, it did wonders for his basketball development. Instead of traveling an hour or two to find their closest opponent, there were four high schools in Vernon and plenty more in the Okanagan. With the increased competition Jason blossomed as a post player, and in grade 12 he helped Clarence Fulton high school to a third place finish in the “AA” B.C. Provincials.

From there he enrolled at Trinity Western University, where he hoped to make an impact as a freshman. Instead, he was grounded by a back injury, ruining most of his first season. No basketball games, no mountain biking, just hours of rehab and shooting drills. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“That was a real tough way to start my career here, but looking back it was one of the better things that could have happened for me,” Jason says. “My jump shot was definitely not a strongpoint for me as I had played post all through high school. So when I was injured all I could do was work on my shooting form, and thanks to my coaches I can shoot the ball a lot better now.”

That first season has helped him make a smooth transition to the wing. This season he’s fourth on the team in scoring with 8.5 points per game, shooting a respectable 37% from three-point range, and is second in the Canada West Conference in free throw shooting at 86.8%. He’s also 15th in the conference in blocks, and one of just three Spartans to have double digits in blocks and steals.

After he’s done flying around the basketball court, Jason would like to help others spread their wings in their own way. He’s volunteered with his church youth group and children’s church, and has loved doing some teaching and drama. He also went on a mission’s trip to Mexico where he ran some basketball camps for kids. Of course, he’s also dreamed about owning a bike shop, involving himself in the biking community and allowing others to share his dream of riding hard and flying high.

Whatever Jason decides to do, his love of mountain bikes will always be in his blood, whether he’s flying off a jump or down a mountain, it’s a thrill he can’t find anywhere else. So the final question for a guy at 6’7, who has dunked plenty of times, is which is better: dunking a basketball or flying off a jump on a mountain bike?

“If you’re dunking when someone’s trying to block you that’s probably better,” Jason admits, pausing for a moment. And then he says what you knew was coming. “But in general I think flying through the air on your bike is a better feeling. I just love flying through the air on my bike.”

Last Updated: 2008-04-25
Author: Jeff Kilpatrick

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