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Posted On: 04/16/18 12:25 AM
The opportunity to play on the adidas Gauntlet is one that only a handful of Iowa high school players get, and Wapello 6-foot-7 Keaton Mitchell center is now one of those lucky few.
He’s been nabbed by the Iowa Barnstormers, and will play with their top 17U unit this spring and summer.
“I never thought I’d make a big team like this because last year was my first year of AAU, and I made the top Mavs team. And then this year, after a lot of improvement, I tried out for the Barnstormers and made the team,” said Mitchell.
“I just want to improve a lot, I know there’s going to be a lot of competition that will help me with my high school season.”
After a fine season with Wapello, Mitchell made a his debut in the 2019 prospect rankings. He mentioned to PHIA what is is about his game that makes him such a threat on the floor.
“I can out-run the other big guys on other teams, and we were fast-paced team this season, so I was getting up and down the floor a lot,” said Mitchell.
“I’m best on the inside and I have a good mid-range jumper also. Some things I’ll be working on is getting a better 3-point shot, I’ve never shot a 3 in a game before. And then another thing I want to work on is my ball-handling.”
Mitchell averaged 14 points and 62 percent shooting and pulled down nine rebounds per game for the Indians. He also led the team with 43 blocks.
“I think this year I played a lot more aggressive. I went from averaging like three points a game to 14 per game. And from three rebounds to nine,” said Mitchell. “My coach would always push me and tell me he wanted me to average a double-double by the end of the season, and I got close to that.”
Keaton Mitchell is ranked by Prep Hoops as a top 75 prospect in his class. To see the full ranking of Iowa’s 2019 class, click here.
Now, with a strong junior season under his belt and the adidas Gauntlet ahead of him, it’s only natural that Mitchell see his recruitment start to take off.
“It’s (recruitment) has picked up a lot since we went to the state tournament, and I’ve gotten a lot more recognition. Upper Iowa had me up to a couple games, and William Penn wanted me to come down to some games. I just got a letter from Wayne State. And then a lot of the D3 schools around here like Central and Luther I’ve heard from,” said Mitchell.
“I’m just trying to get a lot more seen by college coaches and improve myself, and ultimately get on a team that’s the right fit for me in college.”