Keifer Sykes, University of Wisconsin Basketball Star: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

During the summer of 2013, Skyes “shut down” the Nike Pro Am with an amazing performance under the watching eye of Bulls star Derrick Rose.

5. He Was Hugely Impacted by the Death of His Father

According to a report by NBC 26, just after Sykes completed his freshman year (where he was the nation’s youngest starter 17), his father, James, died of a heart attack. The point-guard told NBC:

I don’t remember what was going through my head at that time. My dad was the only one I could open up to. That was the biggest thing I took from this, now I have no one I’m open to.

I don’t think I reached out to anyone about it.

Despite his father’s passing, Skyes still writes to him in a therapeutic way:

How my families doing, how I’m doing, how school is going. Everything I talked about with him from day one.

I try to do it right before a game so I’m feeling good so it won’t be too bad for me emotionally.

Green Bay’s Coach, Brian Wardle, said that when he first met James Sykes, he was at a game shouting “Man up Keif! Man up Keif!” at his son.

WATCH: Richard Sherman’s Insane Post-Game Interview

Richard Sherman's intense post-game interview after his interception and the Seahawks win over the 49ers in the AFC Championship game.

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