I-Ball founder Kyle Keyes has experienced many personal struggles but through them all has found sports to be a means to carry on and find success. As a child Keyes was raised in a broken home where he received very little mentoring or advocacy. From the age of five Keyes was involved in sports – playing basketball, football, baseball and soccer. Throughout his childhood and youth he excelled as a team leader and set personal records in each of the sports he played.
As Keyes grew older he set his sights on one sport – basketball. After high school he attended Bellevue Community College, and then he transferred to the University of Montana. At the time of the transfer he was hiding a shin injury from his teammates and coaches. Because Keyes did not take care of his injury properly, it did not heal and so he sat out his first year at Montana. Then before his senior year he tore the ACL in his left knee. After college Keyes temporarily shelved his basketball career. However, he knew that he wasn’t done playing the game he loved. Once he was healed sufficiently he drove to Portland to tryout with the Globetrotters. He made the team and his basketball career began heading in the right direction. Shortly after this time he was invited to a couple of NBA preseason camps. While he did not make any of the NBA teams, he regained his confidence and climbed back from injuries and a harsh family life to show that anyone can overcome trials.
Today Keyes plays for the Vancouver BC Titans in the International Basketball League and during the off season coaches students through I-Ball, a non-profit organization that he has founded. Keyes saw a need for more affordable professional level basketball coaching in communities and created the I-Ball program to eliminate economic barriers to this coaching. Keyes wants to give back to students who are in the same position that he was as a child. He wants to be that mentor, the leader that can help them get past their failures and improve their basketball game. Currently, I-ball programs are available in Washington and Canada and are supported by a staff of nine coaches, including Keyes.
To learn more about i-Ball visit www.i-balllive.com.