Growing up in a basketball family, freshman guard Keith Higgins Jr. knew he wanted to play at the Division I level. Both of his parents played basketball at Cal State University, Northridge, and his sister played at the University of Southern California.
In high school, Higgins scored over 2000 points in his four years at Chaminade Prep in West Hills, CA. Higgins won a Division I California Interscholastic Federation Championship his senior year.
Higgins said the authenticity of the Lehigh coaching staff he met during the recruiting process encouraged him to play for the Mountain Hawks.
Higgins is an undeclared student in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he hopes to discover his academic interests and make the Dean’s List this semester.
“I am going to take advantage of off-days to get ahead on school work,” Higgins said. “It works both ways. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with either work or basketball because one could interfere with the other.”
Even as one of the youngest players on the team, Higgins has managed to fit in with the group as the season gets underway.
“I think the culture on our team is really good and it doesn’t really matter what grades we get or what class we’re in to get along,” Higgins said. “We do a pretty good job of hanging out outside of practice too, which is really good and brings us closer together.”
Higgins said in the long term, he hopes to create lasting relationships and to win the Patriot League title at one point during his college career.
Head coach Brett Reed said he sees a lot of potential in Higgins and is excited to have him as a new addition to the team.
“He brings a skill set that is very much needed, based on the way in which we performed last year,” Reed said. “He’s an excellent shooter, with deep range and a quick release, and is probably one of the top shooters on our team.”
While Keith is adjusting from high school to college basketball and can be tentative at times, he is quickly becoming accustomed to the faster moving and more intense game, Reed said.
In his college debut against Rutgers, Higgins played 16 minutes and scored five points on 2-5 shooting, including a three pointer. Higgins also grabbed four rebounds.
“As he continues to get more familiar and comfortable with college basketball and the way in which we do things, I think there’ll be an opportunity for him to use that special skill set that he has,” Reed said.
Keith is also receptive to feedback and adds energy to the team, Reed said.
Reed said Higgins is eager to absorb wisdom passed down to him by upperclassmen.
“He’s been a good teammate, a good follower, but also somebody that is dutiful in what he’s doing and takes responsibility for his own actions,” Reed said.
Sophomore JT Tan said he sees Higgins’ energetic spirit and leadership both on and off the court.
Tan said Higgins is effective at getting his teammates to focus when distractions present themselves.
“We all love him so he fits in great and I was glad that he was able to choose Lehigh,” Tan said.