Ellison vs. Naaman Forest Boys Basketball 6A Playoffs

No. 9 Ellison’s Jamyron Keller (1) drives the baseline against Naaman Forest in their area-round playoff game Feb. 25 at Italy High School.

Jamyron Keller is one of a kind.

Entering his junior season, Ellison’s starting guard is already entrenched as one of the state’s premier players, helping guide the Eagles to a pair of District 12-6A championships and leading two deep playoff runs during his short tenure.

Additionally, as a sophomore, Keller was named the district’s most valuable player, and in the months since, the spotlight surrounding the rising star intensified further as word of his skills continue to capture new attention.

But while Keller’s singular talents transformed him into a unique attraction, he does not stand alone.

“I have so many people guiding me and helping me keep my head in the right place with my game and also away from the court,” Keller said. “Without those people, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

“I especially couldn’t do this without my mom.”

From family members to trainers to coaches to teachers and mentors, Keller’s path toward a potential NBA career is structured around the combined assistance and support he receives on a regular basis, and the approach is working.

Within the last month, Keller received collegiate offers from NCAA Division I programs, including Missouri State, Oral Roberts and Wichita State, to go along with previous offers from Sam Houston State, SMU and Wyoming, and his appeal should only widen.

Beginning Tuesday, Keller will take part in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., competing for his Drive Nation Sports select team based out of Dallas. The nearly two-week long tournament serves as a national recruiting showcase for players 17 years old and younger with numerous college coaches attending.

Although the event will undoubtedly produce pursuers, Keller refuses to become too enthralled considering where his career currently resides.

“The recruiting process is slowly picking up,” he said, “and it is exciting, but I don’t ever want to get too excited for anything, because I could lose everything in a moment.

“So, I feel there is no point to get overly excited. I’m saving that for the day my name is called in the NBA Draft.”

The path recently landed Keller in Oklahoma, where he got a taste of his future as he made an unofficial visit to Oral Roberts. It was his first true involvement in the recruiting process, but more visits will inevitably come, and Ellison head coach Alberto Jones Jr. believes each moment should be savored.

“He’s still got two years of high school left,” Jones said. “He needs to just enjoy this.

“Everybody doesn’t get to do those types of things, so he just needs to focus on taking everything in and enjoying the process.”

It is also a learning experience.

Regardless of how things play out immediately for Keller, with years separating him from a college debut, merely interacting with coaches and beginning to nurture relationships within programs will only be beneficial, according to Jones.

Keller agrees.

“Going to Oral Roberts was definitely a humbling experience,” he said. “I was definitely nervous, but it showed me that I can do it.

“Now that I got the first-time jitters out, I’ll be able to go out and be more comfortable next time.”

While Keller’s potential is as bright as any athlete in the area and could eventually land him at a powerhouse program following graduation, he is focusing on short-term goals as well, primarily propelling Ellison to a state championship after producing a combined record of 62-8 to start his high school career.

And he is doing anything possible to make all his dreams reality.

“I’m working on every aspect of my game from my balance to my shooting to my agility,” Keller said. “I’m doing whatever I can to make my body run at peak performance.

“Rest is a very important part, so I do have off days, but never more than one or two. Then, it’s time to get back to work.”

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