Keifer Sykes

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Keifer Sykes
No. 28 – Sidigas Avellino
PositionPoint guard
Champions League
Personal information
Born (1993-12-30) December 30, 1993 (age 25)
Chicago, Illinois
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High schoolMarshall (Chicago, Illinois)
CollegeGreen Bay (2011–2015)
NBA draft2015 / Undrafted
Playing career2015–present
Career history
2015–2016Austin Spurs
2016–2017Anyang KGC
2017–2018Ankara DSİ
2018–presentFelice Scandone
Career highlights and awards

Keifer Jerail Sykes (born December 30, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for Sidigas Avellino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). He played college basketball for the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.

Early life and high school career[edit]

Sykes, a 5'11" point guard, was born in Chicago, Illinois to the late James Sykes as the second oldest of seven children.[1] He starred at John Marshall Metropolitan High School in Chicago, where he was named second team All-Chicago Public High School League by the Chicago Sun-Times.

College career[edit]

After graduating high school, Sykes committed to play college basketball for coach Brian Wardle and eventually alongside Marshall teammates Alfonzo McKinnie and Vincent Garret, at Green Bay.[2]

From his freshman year in 2011–12, Sykes was immediately inserted into the Phoenix starting lineup, and was also the youngest player in the nation, let alone youngest starter. He averaged 11.2 points and 3.3 assists per game. At the end of the season, Sykes was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer team.[3]

As a sophomore, Sykes increased his production to 15.9 points and 4.3 assists per game and led the Phoenix to the 2013 Postseason Tournament. He was named first team All-Horizon League.[4]

At the start of the 2013–14 season, Sykes was named to the preseason All-Horizon League team and was a nominee for the Bob Cousy Award for top point guard in the country.[5] Sykes and 7'1" stand out player Alec Brown led the Phoenix to a 24–5 regular season record and finished first in the Horizon League. The season included an upset over eventual Atlantic Coast Conference regular season champion (and NCAA Tournament 1-seed) Virginia in a game which saw Sykes score 21 points and distribute 10 assists.[6] In a 69–66 loss to Wisconsin, Sykes scored 32 points, including a highlight dunk in the first possession of the game. At the conclusion of the regular season, Sykes was again named first team all-conference, he was named an honorable mention AP All-American, and was named Horizon Player of the Year.[7] A loss in the Horizon League Tournament, due in part to a Sykes injury, led the Phoenix to missing an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and playing in the National Invitation Tournament.

For his senior season, Sykes had high expectations as he was placed on the Bob Cousy Award Watch List (later becoming a Cousy Award Finalist), the Wooden Award Watch List, and the Naismith Award Watch List during the preseason. On February 26, 2015, playing in his hometown of Chicago, Sykes scored a career-high 36 points against UIC to surpass the 2,000-point mark for his career. Sykes became the only active player in the nation with 2,000+ points, 500+ assists, and 400+ rebounds. He also became the only player in Horizon League history to record those same career totals. Sykes won the 2015 Horizon League player of the year to join the elite company of players to win the award twice.[8] For the second time in his career, he was named to the Honorable Mention AP All-American team.[9] For the week of January 4–10 of 2015, Sykes won the Naismith National Player of the Week Award. In that week, Sykes averaged 28.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while shooting 53.6% from the field, 50% from three, and leading the Phoenix to a 3–0 record. Sykes set a conference record as he was named the Horizon League player of the week thirteen times over his career.[10] Sykes was one of eight invitees to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2015 Final Four, where he placed second.[11]

Professional career[edit]

After going undrafted in the 2015 NBA draft, Sykes joined the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2015 NBA Summer League.[12] On September 28, 2015, he signed with the San Antonio Spurs,[13] only to be waived by the team on October 21 after appearing in three preseason games.[14] Nine days later, he was acquired by the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League as an affiliate player of San Antonio.[15]

On November 13, Sykes made his professional debut in a 104–82 win over the Texas Legends, recording eight points, one rebound, six assists and three steals in 17 minutes off the bench.[16] In his rookie season with Austin, including the playoffs, Sykes averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.84 steals while shooting 45.9% from the field and 77.4% from the free throw line, and also recording a plus/minus of +196. Sykes elevated his play in the postseason, including a game in which he recorded 31 points and 6 steals in a 26-point comeback in a win-or-go-home game 3. Due to his success, he was invited to the 2016 NBA D-League Elite Camp.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2016, Sykes joined the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Summer League. On July 21, 2016, he was selected by Anyang KGC in the second round of the 2016 KBL draft.[17]

In the 2017-18 season, Sykes played for Ankara DSİ S.K. in the Turkish TBL, posting 22.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Sykes signed with Scandone Avellino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A on August 7, 2018.[18]

Sykes is featured in the 2018 documentary film Chi-Town, produced and directed by Nick Budabin.[19] The film follows Sykes' path from high school to his brush with the NBA.


  1. ^ Koob, Dan (December 21, 2013). "Family First: Keifer Sykes". Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Henricksen, Joe (September 24, 2010). "Keifer Sykes headed to UW-Green Bay". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Potter, Bill (February 27, 2012). "Horizon League Announces Men's Basketball Award Winners". Horizon League. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Potter, Bill (March 4, 2013). "McCallum Leads Men's Basketball Award Winners". Horizon League. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sykes Named to Bob Cousy Award Watch List". Green Bay Phoenix. October 22, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "Green Bay holds on to beat Virginia 75-72". December 7, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  7. ^ Potter, Bill (March 3, 2014). "2014 #HLMBB Award Winners Announced". Horizon League. Archived from the original on June 13, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Phoenix Keifer Sykes crosses the 2,000 mark". February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on March 20, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "Sykes named AP honorable mention All-American". WLUK-TV. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Scott, Bill (June 22, 2015). "Green Bay's Sykes is HL Player of the Week". Wisconsin Radio Network. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  11. ^ Venci, Scott (March 26, 2015). "Keifer Sykes will be in Final Four dunk contest". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  12. ^ "Cavs Announce 2015 Samsung NBA Summer League Roster". July 7, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "Spurs announce 2015-16 training camp roster". September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Spurs waive Fredette, Ndoye, Sykes and Thomas". October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  15. ^ "AUSTIN SPURS ANNOUNCE 2015 RETURNING PLAYERS AND TRAINING CAMP INVITEES". October 30, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  16. ^ "Cotton, Spurs Rout Legends as Satnam Singh Debuts". November 13, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  17. ^ Pick, David (July 22, 2016). "Terrico White, Michael Efevberha, Keifer Sykes..." Twitter. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  18. ^ "Scandone Avellino signs Keifer Sykes". Sportando. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Chitown - Official Site".

External links[edit]