Keifer Sykes is the University of Wisconsin basketball star who is going viral in a big way. Standing at just 5 foot 11, this point guard can really dunk.
Here’s what you need to know about the next big thing:
1. His Dunks Are Going Viral
His dunks against University of Chicago have gone viral (above). As Deadspin notes, it’s hard to pick a favorite:
The alley-oop certainly possessed a higher degree of difficulty, but the breakaway slam is about as picturesque as a dunk can get. Once he starts rising toward the rim, it feels like he will never come down.
Even Sykes himself tweeted the video of the dunks, and with absolutely no humility said, “Honestly, sometimes I shock myself and watching it only makes it worse.”
2. He’s From the Home of the Bulls
He’s a native of South Chicago where he attended to Marshall High School. He had a glittering basketball career at the school, his honors include:
Named to Chicago Sun Times All-Public League Second Team as a senior at Marshall High School.
Scored 14 points and had four assists in Chigo United Hoops All-Star Classic.
Led his team to 28 wins and a third-place finish in Class 3A Tournament in 2009-10.
Averaged 18 points in the Illinois State Tournament.
Played in the IBCA All-Star game along with Phoenix teammate Greg Mays.
McDonald’s All-American nominee.
One of Sykes’ teammates at Marshall High School, Alfonzo McKinnie, is now a team mate at the University of Phoenix.
3. He’s a Communications Major
— Rick Karius (@CoachKarius) January 20, 2014
He’s a communications major at the University of Wisconsin. His online profile states that his full name is Keifer Jerail Sykes and his parents are the late James and Lisa Sykes. On his Twitter profile, Sykes also indicates that he is a father.
4. Even D.Rose Knows How Good He Is
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.