June 6, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. – St. John’s bolstered its front line on Tuesday with the signing of 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward Sedee Keita. The Philadelphia native transfers to St. John’s from South Carolina and will have three years of eligibility remaining. Per NCAA transfer regulations, Keita must complete one full academic year of residency before competing for the Red Storm.
“We are excited to welcome Sedee to our basketball family,” said St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin. “Sedee is a very athletic big man with a wide frame who comes with high major experience.”
A consensus four-star, top-100 recruit in the Class of 2016, Keita played in 29 games as a freshman last season during South Carolina’s run to the Final Four. He logged 9.6 minutes per game while averaging 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds. Keita finished the season fourth on the team with 11 blocks, as he made two of those rejections in an Elite Eight victory over Florida at Madison Square Garden.
“We believe Sedee can really develop in our system as he works closely with our staff,” Mullin added. “His strength, physicality and ability to run the floor certainly will add a new dimension to our roster.”
Keita was the No. 22 rated power forward in the nation coming out of high school. Prior to South Carolina, he attended Shannon Forest Christian School and 22 Feet Academy in Greenville, S.C. Keita played alongside several high major Division I prospects and went up against top national competition at 22 Feet Academy under head coach Ryan Schmidt. Keita is also a former AAU teammate of fellow incoming transfer Mikey Dixon with the WE R1 program.
“I am excited and honored to join a program with such rich tradition and to play for a legend in Chris Mullin,” said Keita. “I look forward to continuing my growth on and off the court and to help St. John’s return to national prominence.”
Keita is the latest addition to a highly touted cast of newcomers joining the Red Storm basketball program. Dixon, the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, committed to St. John’s in April after averaging 16.5 points last season as a freshman at Quinnipiac. The Johnnies also recently signed New York City prospect Sidney Wilson, who is a 6-foot-7 consensus four-star wing, rated as high as No. 19 in the nation for his position in the Class of 2017.
One of the most improved teams in the nation last season, St. John’s returns its top three scorers from a club that saw its BIG EAST record increase by six wins in 2016-17. St. John’s up-tempo offense will again feature BIG EAST All-Freshman Team honorees Shamorie Ponds (17.4 ppg) and Marcus LoVett (15.9 ppg), who are the top returning scoring duo in the conference. Highly rated transfers Marvin Clark Jr. and Justin Simon will also make their debut in Queens next season.