Her demeanor is quiet. She has a humble personality, but when she steps onto the basketball court, her game brings a thunderous boom.
Keziah Lofton is preparing to enter the middle school world as a sixth-grader at Yukon Middle School and is one of the top young basketball players in the area.
Keziah plays AAU basketball for Below The Rim (BTR), which is based out of Putnam City West. Her team is ranked No. 1 in the country and she is one of the main reasons.
The 5-foot, 8-inch 11-year-old was born and raised in Yukon and started playing basketball when she was four. She would go to the Bethany YMCA with her father, Kevon Lofton.
Keziah started playing AAU basketball in second grade, when she joined Lady Jazz. That is when she began to fall in love with the sport.
“I train all the time with my dad,” Keziah said. “I love it. I think I realized I loved it when I first started playing with the Lady Jazz.”
A year ago, she played with an AAU team from Arkansas at the national tournament in Florida, winning the national championship.
Fast forward to today, she is playing for “BTR” with other top young players from the Oklahoma City area and they are preparing to play in this year’s national tournament, which will take place in July in Tennessee.
The team they will have to go through to accomplish their goal of winning a national title? The same Arkansas team Keziah played for a year ago.
“I’m excited for it,” Keziah said. “I believe we will be ready and I believe we get it done.”
Keziah just completed elementary school, where she attended Lakeview Elementary.
She said she likes one aspect of the game above all the others.
“I prefer to take the ball to the hoop rather than shoot it from the outside,” Keziah said. “I also like to play defense. I would say I am more of a guard but it all depends on who else is on the court for us.”
When she is not on the court playing, there is one team and specifically one player she likes to watch.
“I am a huge Thunder fan,” Keziah said. “Russell Westbrook is my favorite player. I try to mimic what he does on the court. I really like how aggressive he always plays.”
Despite being in sixth grade, Keziah isn’t shy about what her goals are.
“I want to play point guard for OU and then be the first woman in the NBA,” she said.
Keziah also understands where she needs to improve as she gets older.
“I need to get better with my right hand (she is left-handed),” Keziah said. “I also need to get stronger but that will come.”
Before she attempts to live out her dream of playing for OU and playing in the NBA, Keziah said she is looking forward to accomplishing great things while at Yukon.
“I am looking forward to playing for Yukon and playing for my school,” she said. “It would be great to bring home the gold ball.”
While she is successful on the basketball court, Keziah understands the importance of the classroom.
She completes her homework on the car ride home every day after school and she won’t allow herself to do anything else before her homework is completed.
Keziah was awarded the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Award, which only goes to one fifth-grade girl, for her accomplishments in the classroom. She also made the honor roll and earned the Writer Award at Lakeview Elementary.
“I try to focus on my grades and pay attention in class,” Keziah said. “School and basketball help each other out. They help me focus on the other.”
Her teachers have said that they can tell she is an athlete because of her focus level.
Keziah also has the opportunity to work out with Yukon girls head coach Roy Wyckoff. She does the same workouts and has the same schedule as the high school girls.
Her dreams of making it to the NBA would not be a first for her family. Her cousin is former NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers player Mark Price.
Needless to say, the future is bright for Yukon Millerette basketball with Keziah leading the charge.