MBB: Six-foot-eleven forward Will Keyes joins Timberwolves Basketball

Men's Basketball
May 23, 2023

To look the newest Timberwolf in the eye, you’ll need to pull up a chair.

But not to sit on. You’ll need to climb up on the chair and stand up to meet him at his level. And if you want to shoot it over him, guess again.

Today, University of Northern British Columbia Men’s Basketball added an imposing presence to the paint, announcing the official commitment of six-foot-eleven Will Keyes for the 2023-2024 Canada West season, and beyond.

“It feels like a dream come true. I watched my brother play in U SPORTS and that has always been a goal of mine. Just seeing that happen is really inspiring.”

A native of Kelowna, Keyes grew up watching his six-foot-nine brother Owen play for Kelowna Secondary School, and then for the UBC Okanagan Heat. Keyes continued to grow, and began to identify U SPORTS as a potential route in his high school years. He visited UNBC’s Prince George campus in April, where he toured the facilities, met some of the TWolves varsity roster, and learned some of UNBC coach Todd Jordan’s systems and ideologies.

“Maybe in Grade 11, when I started practicing for my school team and I started realizing that competition. I really enjoyed competing. I knew that I wanted to go to a higher level. I like the people I met. It is very welcoming. They gym and facilities are nice and it seems like I can definitely train here and get better.”

To call Keyes “long” would be an understatement. Fluid in his movement, the KSS Owl closes distance quickly, using his incredible wingspan to his advantage. His offensive game is a work in progress, but his Grade 12 season showed many glimpses of strong finishing ability around the hoop, and beyond.

The 17-year-old knows he will need to put on some mass to compete with many of the posts in the Canada West conference, but he is up to the challenge and sees big things for his time in green and gold.

“I am more of a defensive-oriented player, with my height. I really focus on blocking shots and clogging up the paint. Making it hard for people. I just use my size to get boards and help my team. I am a development player and I know I need to improve my game. I think Coach Jordan can really help me with that.”

UNBC bench boss Todd Jordan will welcome back starting center Spencer Ledoux for his fifth and final university season, but jumped at the opportunity to welcome Keyes to the program. His newest recruit made a major impact on Harry Parmar’s KSS program, registering double digit blocks in numerous games, and displaying the overall game that projects to play important minutes for the Timberwolves for years to come.

We are very excited to add Will to our roster.  Players his size with his shot blocking ability and long-term potential are few and far between. I am really looking forward to working with him and helping him become the special player I believe he is capable of becoming. We are thrilled to welcome him to our program.”

Keyes will graduate from KSS in June and enroll in UNBC’s business program. He will join his new Timberwolves teammates for training camp in September, and continue a basketball journey that started when he first picked up a ball when he was three-years old.

“I like the competition of basketball. I like the teamwork. I love scoring a basket and knowing it’s not just for me; it’s for the whole team. This means a lot. I have been working on basketball since I was five years old. I want to say thanks for welcoming me as part of your community and your team. I hope I can live up to the expectations.”