Knigel Key has played varsity basketball for Ellison since his sophomore year. Now, as a senior, he assumed the starting role at point guard in the Eagle back court.
With great handles and a quick release from the perimeter, Key has fit well in his role as the Eagles’ floor general early in the season.
After contributing to a district champion last season, Key hopes the Eagles can return to champion status with him at the helm this year.
Who were you playing behind last year?
(Second-team all district performer) Tyree King.
What was it like playing behind him and going against him in practice every day?
He would just push me. And it would make me want to get his spot, so it would make me fight that much harder.
Last year, you guys won a district title. What is it like to contribute to a team like that?
It felt awesome. It felt so great that we want to win it this year. We’re going to try our hardest and put in all the work to win it this year.
What do you remember about (last year’s season-ending loss) to South Grand Prairie (45-44 in the regional quarterfinal)?
It was packed. Intensity was really, really high that game.
Do you look back on that game with sadness or with pride that you got that far?
In a way I look at it in both because of the pride, we did get real far, but sadness as in we could’ve won that game.
So, how did that affect you guys coming into this year?
We feel like if we were that close last year and we still have our bigs this year, I think we can work enough with our guards to get back to the same place we were at last year.
Against Round Rock, you had one of the better plays of the season in the first quarter: a crossover at the top of the key and you hit the 3-pointer while you were falling to the ground. The gym kind of erupted when you hit that. Have you ever had a play like that in your varsity career at Ellison?
I’ve had about two or three maybe, but the crowd never got that hyped over a play I’ve done before.
What is the team doing well right now?
We’re starting to get our intensity up ... and that’s when we’ll have the other teams match our intensity and we’ll be real tough if we have ours all the way up.
What’s it like playing in this district?
It’s going to be tough, but I think at Ellison we’re known for being up for the challenge.