Keitges Signs

Katie Keitges signs her letter-of-intent to play basketball for the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. She is pictured with her family, from the left, brother Luke Keitges, mother Mollie Keitges, father John Keitges and sister Abby Keitges.

Katie Keitges officially signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at the University of Nebraska Omaha for the Mavericks.

The Mavericks play Division I basketball. The have already faced Creighton, Kansas and Kansas State this season.

UNO is coached by Brittany Lange, who is starting her seventh season at the helm.

The signing took place at the Knoxville High School Media Center.

Joining Keitges for the signing were family members, friends, teammates and coaches.

She was asked her thoughts about signing day. “I’m super excited,” Keitges said. “With UNO, I just feld at home with them. They have a beautiful campus and an amazing facilities. The relationship with the coaches and teammates was very good as well.”

UNO was a freshman led squad last year and it reflected in their overall record. The team played through quite a few injuries.

Playing for the Knoxville Panthers Katie Keitges is known for her offense and for the way she gets the ball to the basket on penetration, breaking down the opponent’s defense.

Led by Keitges, the Panthers have won the South Central Conference title each of the past two seasons. Knoxville was 14-6 a year ago overall.

Katie Keitges hit for an average of 23.4 points per game a year ago.

She led Knoxville in assists, steals and blocks during the 2018-19 season as well.

Keitges is no stranger when it comes to earning awards, she is an all-state player on several occasions and she is a regular on the South Central Conference first unit.

“UNO really likes the way I play defense,” Keitges replied, “The coaches tell me I’ll get playing time for the way I play defense.”

Knoxville Head Coach Jim Uitermarkt announced that Katie Keitges is believed to be only the second Panther basketball player to sign with a Division I program.

Uitermarkt stressed, this doesn’t happen very often at Knoxville.

“When Katie was a freshman, she was our go-to-girl from day one. As a coach It’s awesome to have such a great ball-handler. She is a tremendous defensive player, she plays a lot of minutes and never gets tired,” Uitermarkt said.

“I’m honored to coach such an athlete of her caliber,” he added.

Keitges currently ranks No. 2 all-time on the Panther scoring charts for the 5-on-5 game of basketball.

She trails only Sam Abens, who went to a Division II school for basketball.

If healthy, Keitges is expected to become No. 1 on the Panther charts early in the season.

Katie’s AAU Coach for the Beyond Ball squad out of Urbandale was on hand for the signing as well.

Morrow said, “She played point guard and shooting guard in our program. I’ve coached 14 years and we have had 10 players move on to play Division I basketball. Katie is among the top three players who has played for me.”

He continued, “She has a strong work-ethic and she plays strong at both ends of the court.”

“I”m super proud of Katie,” Morrow stated.

Katie is the daughter of John and Mollie Keitges.

Her dad replied, “Early on, in the fourth of fifth grade you could tell Katie had what others didn’t have at her age. A high level of competitiveness and the will to win.”

John Keitges continued, “She isn’t flashy and she’s not tall, but she is a winner.UNO saw the little things she does well, handling the ball and being able to shoot from deep.”

“We have enjoyed Knoxville since moving her from PCM. I’m excited for what the next level holds for her.”

Katie who has excelled in virtually every sport at Knoxville that she has participated in, track, softball, volleyball and basketball.

Katie added, “My goal now is to work at continuing to get better.”

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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