Stanford Basketball recruit James Keefe out of Los Angeles (CA) Loyola High School has a Cardinal legacy that we all know about, but his game is rising over the course of the summer to the point that it’s clear he’s going to carve out a legacy of his own at whatever school he ends up playing ball for at the next level. The ‘19 wing has had to overcome some injury misfortune over the past year but he definitely showed the growth in his game while playing at the West Coast Elite 100 event in Pomona this past weekend. Keefe talked about where his game is coming as well as where he wants to improve as the July eval period rolls into its final week.

Keefe’s squad rolled to a win as he, Cardinal ‘19 offer Aidan Igiehon, Nico Mannion, and ‘21 wing Nick Davidson all contributed on the floor. “It was great. Felt like both teams took care of business but we came out on top. I thought we played well together, got a lot of good shots, so it was a lot of fun,” Keefe said.   

“I've been injured a little bit but the last four months I've been working super hard and I feel like my development's really going upward. I feel like I have a lot of potential and I'm working to get there every single day.  I'm a high energy guy, a high motor guy. That's how I play. I run hard on the breaks, play d, I can shoot it and I'm pretty skilled too but that's definitely what I do best is rebounding the ball, scoring, and having a high motor.” That motor was clearly in evidence in the game we saw him play. He contested every loose ball and secured a number of extra possessions for his squad by hitting the offensive boards. He also showed good athleticism by being able to get up and down the floor in a rush. His ball-handling, shot, and decision making all look better even from his prep season with Loyola less than five months ago.  

Of his relationship with Stanford, Keefe says “It's good. I've been staying in touch with them. They've been coming to see me at a lot of the games this summer. I was at elite camp last month, so that was great, but just staying in touch with them and keeping everything open right now.”

In terms of where he wants to get better, Keefe says “On defense, probably rim protecting is the number one thing, and then on offense just ball-handling and  bringing it up the floor more. I did a little of that today which I was really happy with. Keep on getting other guys looks, because I can score but at the next level obviously you've got to be able to handle the ball.”

Keefe is an intriguing name on the board for the Cardinal, and he’s one of those players who may make a big leap later in his recruitment than other prospects. Stanford has recognized his improvement, and considering his versatility, athleticism, and skill, he’ll likely be someone Stanford continues to track over the next year.   

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R.J. Abeytia has been contributing to The Bootleg since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Abeytia and follow The Bootleg @TheBootleg for up to the moment Cardinal news and analysis.

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