About Keifer Sykes


From Chicago’s Marshall High School basketball stand-out, to University of Wisconsin at Green Bay record-setting scorer, to international basketball marvel, Keifer Sykes remains grounded in his faith, devoted to his family and out-spoken in words and actions about the issues and difficulties facing his community in Chicago and anywhere else he sees the need.

Sykes’ career is a professional basketball player, but his calling is a mentor, a teacher, a provider and a voice for those who are under-served and under-represented. Sykes has seen first-hand the devastating losses in his home community and he is not one to sit by and accept the circumstances. Compelled to reach out and help, Sykes’ founded the Keifer Sykes’ Free 10 Foundation. Even when Sykes is halfway around the globe pumping out 3-pointers and sky-high dunks, his dedication is still to his foundation and building up his community in any way possible. Sykes has assembled a dedicated team in Chicago that shares his mission.


"I'll just use basketball to get as far as I can."

Keifer Sykes


Keifer Jerail Sykes is a professional basketball player from Chicago, Illinois.  He was born to Lisa and the late James Sykes on December 30, 1993 as the youngest of 9 children. Sykes attended Marshall High School and was a standout there, being named to the second team All-Chicago Public High School League by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Keifer was offered two division 1 scholarships, and decided to play for coach Brian Wardle at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Two of Sykes' high school teammates, Alfonzo McKinnie and Vincent Garrett, ended up joining him in Green Bay. He not only excelled in basketball at Green Bay, but he also graduated with a degree in communications.

The excitement and attention that Keifer Sykes brought to the Green Bay community was surpassed only by the admiration and respect the community developed for him. At a city council meeting, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, read a proclamation and awarded Sykes a Leadership Award and a key to the city, not only for his play on the court but also for the way he handled himself as a role model for the youth in Green Bay.

UW-Green Bay Stats and Video Highlights

In His Own Words

"Basketball was the last thing on my mind..."

Keifer thrived in Green Bay, WI, away from the violence and vulnerability of Chicago, but also away from the family that shaped and molded him into a responsible, caring, hard-working young man. In 2012, his father passed away from a heart attack and it almost broke Keifer:

“When I got home, my family was torn apart and I was the worst of all. Basketball was the last thing on my mind and I felt like I didn’t want to play anymore. All I wanted to do was be there for my mom and the family and fulfill my dad’s role. But when I finally got back to school, I knew what I had to do to make my father proud and that was to play this game with everything I had in order to create opportunities for my family like he did. This is when I began to challenge myself mentally like never before because I knew I had to get something out of this game”, he himself wrote for the Eastbayblog.


Basketball Skills

Keifer is a 5'11", 175-pound point guard that is known for his elite level athleticism. With a max vertical of 44.5 inches, a 3/4 court sprint time of 3.13 seconds, and a shuttle run time of 3.07 seconds, he matches up with some of the NBA's best athletes. He's known for his incredible dunks, which have resulted in viral videos and SportsCenter Top 10 appearances. Whether it's dunking on Frank Kaminsky, dunking on Kaminsky even harder (even though the dunk was missed), skying for a pair of slams at UIC, shutting down the Nike "Chi-League" ProAm, or challenging Malik Monk & Dez Wells to a dunk-off at Chris Paul's elite guard camp, Sykes has found countless ways to make people's jaws drop. If you're ever having a slow day, search "Keifer Sykes" on YouTube, and you'll keep yourself entertained for hours with rim rocking dunks.


Basketball Career

Sykes went undrafted in 2015 but was immediately signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers within hours after the draft. He played in Cleveland for the 2015 Summer League. He was then invited to the San Antonio Spurs' training camp. Sykes played for San Antonio in three preseason games, and then spent the season playing for their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs.

During the summer of 2016, he played for the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League. After the Summer League, he was drafted 12th overall in the Korean Basketball League draft, and he decided to play there for Anyang KGC for the 2016-17 season. KGC would go on to win the league championship, despite Keifer going down with an ankle injury towards the end of the playoffs.

After a summer of limited NBA opportunities due to his lingering ankle injury, Keifer signed with Ankara DSi S.K. of the Turkish Basketball League, where he finished the season as the league's leading scorer at 23.1 points per game. He also averaged 3.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, while shooting 50.6% from the field and 42.6% from behind the arc.

In January of 2019, Keifer stepped up to play for Sidigas Avellino of Italy's Premier Basketball League. After injuries to two of Sidigas Avellino’s key players, Sykes took over a leading role and boosted his game to another level, scoring 43 points, which is the new BCL scoring record. Later in 2019, Sykes moved on to the Chinese Basketball Association’s Guangzhou Long Lions, where Forbes magazine sports reporter, Chris Sheridan, referred to him as the “James Harden of China.”  [link to article]

Since the spring of 2020, Sykes’ career has taken a unique path due to the COVID 19 pandemic. He played for three teams in four months. First playing with Turk Telekom (Turkish Basketball Super League), leading to the 2020 Basketball Champions League Final 8. Then another short term deal with Panathinaikos, a Greek Euroleague Team. Sykes is currently in Melbourne, Australia for the 2020-21 season of the NBL playing for the Southeast Melbourne Phoenix.

Anyone who has followed Keifer's career will undoubtedly note that his college team was the UW-Green Bay Phoenix.




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