The Dream Catcher: Tre McKeithen

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“Hard work can help you achieve whatever you want to achieve in life, but you have to realize that you will fail at some point, and when that happens, you can’t put your head down. You have to continue to fight.”

Those words come from someone who knows, for Saint Francis men’s basketball player Tre McKeithen has been fighting his entire career.

At the Division I level, most basketball players are recruited and provided scholarships to play for their college education. For McKeithen, his path to Division I basketball at SFU followed a different script.

McKeithen’s sports career has been full of obstacles and roadblocks. He attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh and did not even play basketball there. The Dragons’ head coach cut him following tryouts during his freshman, sophomore and junior years. When McKeithen was a senior, the coach wouldn’t even allow him to try out.

After graduating from Taylor Allderdice, McKeithen decided that he would enroll at Saint Francis and try to walk on to the Red Flash men’s basketball team. Again, things did not go as planned. After arriving in Loretto, he found out that there were no spots available on the team’s roster. He was offered a manager role.

After accepting the manager position, McKeithen soon realized it would not be as easy as he had thought. He had to clean up after the players and do all the “dirty work” behind the scenes.

“I did what I had to do to get the job done, and I used the time throughout the season to work on my game and learn from the other players,” said McKeithen.

After McKeithen’s year as a manager, Red Flash head men’s basketball Rob Krimmel told him he would be given a spot on the team as long as he maintained his grades. McKeithen held up his end of the bargain and was granted a spot on the team last summer.

McKeithen said he gets much of his motivation from his mother, NBA star Dwyane Wade and all of the children that look up to him back home in Pittsburgh.

“My goal one day is to give back to them and show them that there is a way to success,” said McKeithen, “through hard work and determination, not the streets.”

Even though he has earned his spot on the SFU men’s basketball team, McKeithen said he is not satisfied.

“My first goal is to earn some playing time somewhere down the road. My next goal is to win a championship ring.”

After graduation, McKeithen wants to start his own training business, one in which he hopes to train kids, help kids pay for school, and teach them to work hard and never give up on their dreams.

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