Pepsi-Cola Student Athlete of the Week: Cooper Keyes

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Cooper Keyes is a standout senior at East Rockingham High School.

For his entire career as a basketball player, Keyes has been coached by his father.

“The best years of my life were the ones I spent playing under him,” said Cooper.

“Every year you lose seniors, but it’s not every year you lose your son,” said head coach Carey Keyes.

Over time, Cooper and his father have learned to balance their relationship on and off the basketball court.

“At school, he’s in coaching mode. At home, he turns into my dad and we have other conversations,” added Cooper.

Cooper and Carey share many things, including their passion for basketball. However, their bond does not come without challenges.

“When you’re the coach’s son, everyone thinks that you get special treatment,” explained Cooper. “That hasn’t been the case for me; I’ve had to work for everything on this team. My dad holds me to a higher standard than everyone else.”

“When things get wild during games, Cooper is a calming presence. He’s a very good leader,” said Carey.

With a 4.0 GPA, Cooper plans to follow in his father’s footsteps as a realtor... and perhaps as a coach.

“I’m not going to become a professional athlete, so education is very important to me,” said Cooper.

“I think he’ll be a coach in the future,” added Carey. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything to share that experience with him.”

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