Men’s basketball star senior forward Keeshawn Kellman will be using his final year of NCAA eligibility to play for the Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) Eagles, he announced Monday on Instagram.
The sociology concentrator will be spending his postgraduate year by the beach in Fort Myers, Fla., where he will suit up for the Eagles and compete in an Atlantic Sun (ASUN) conference championship.
Numerous division schools hoped to recruit the senior who calls Pennsylvania home, and Kellman had multiple offers, including from Nevada, James Madison, and Hofstra.
“I feel at home here,” Kellman told The Daily Princetonian, reflecting on how he felt on FGCU’s campus. “Everything about it, the coaches brought the energy right away… they made me feel the most wanted,” said Kellman about the appeal of FGCU.
FGCU was the first of five schools that he planned to visit before making his commitment, but he didn’t get to the last four. After the visit to FGCU's campus, his mind was set.
In his first three seasons with Princeton basketball, Kellman appeared in just 18 games and scored in double-digits only three times. Senior year, however, he blossomed into one of the Ivy League’s most efficient inside scorers and premier shot blockers.
During the 2022-23 season, Kellman started in all 32 games that he appeared in, ranking second in the Ivy League in field goal percentage and seventh in blocks. In the Tigers’ historic win over the second-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the first round of this year’s NCAA tournament, he scored eight points on four-for-four shooting and recorded two blocks.
“This year, I was blessed to be fully healthy,” said Kellman, who suffered several injuries during his junior season, about his senior year success. “We also have a really good, ‘hard-working’ culture that the older guys built and the younger guys buy into,” he added.
Kellman would go on to help the Tigers become the fourth-ever 15-seed to make the tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. The first 15-seed team ever to make it was none other than FGCU, who did so in 2013.
The Eagles, however, have had little success in recent years. They have only appeared in the tournament twice since 2013, failing to make it out of the first round both times. Last year, the squad finished ninth in the ASUN, where they won seven out of their 18 games.
The squad also ranked ninth in the conference in rebounding. At 6’9” and 240 pounds, expect Kellman to help the Eagles next season as a critical inside scorer.
Meanwhile, the Tigers will be looking to fill the hole left by Kellman as the next year approaches. He was the tallest rotational player on Princeton’s roster last year and their only true center.
The loss of Kellman will undoubtedly make the Tigers a different team. The Eagles, too, will undergo a transformation, as they will try to get the most out of the Princeton graduate and turn their program around.
Kellman did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Princetonian.
Diego Uribe is an assistant editor for Sports and contributor for News at the ‘Prince.’
Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.