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Howard Community College basketball adds another Player of the Year in Wilde Lake grad Trea Keys

Trea Keys, a 2019 Wilde Lake grad and former Howard County Boys Basketball Player of the Year, has signed a Letter of Intent to play for Howard Community College next winter.
Trea Keys, a 2019 Wilde Lake grad and former Howard County Boys Basketball Player of the Year, has signed a Letter of Intent to play for Howard Community College next winter. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Howard Community College men’s basketball program added another local face to its roster on Tuesday, announcing the signing of former Howard County Player of the Year and Wilde Lake grad Trea Keys.

Keys, who graduated from Wilde Lake in 2019 and redshirted last season at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, joins a Dragons’ program that finished 25-6 and won the Region 20 tournament championship last winter. Also on the roster is Oakland Mills grad Daeshawn Eaton, the 2018-19 Howard County Player of the Year who averaged 14.2 points per game and was named to the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference first team as a freshman this past season.

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“It’s nice to see more and more local student athletes who were standouts in high school recognize the value of Howard Community College,” said head coach Mike Smelkinson, who rejoined the program last spring. “I think Trea realizes that we have really good players and an exciting game environment. It will be fun to add him to the mix as we prepare to defend our Region Championship this season.”

Keys is a 5-foot-7 guard and made first team All-County three times in high school while playing for the Wildecats, including being named Howard County co-Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2017. He is the second all-time leading scorer in Wilde Lake program history with 1,242 career points.

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He excels at both getting to the rim and making shots from the perimeter (37 made threes as a senior in high school).

“Trea is a hard-nosed guard who plays with a chip on his shoulder,” Smelkinson said. “He’s a proven winner and a fierce competitor. He will add skill and firepower to an already dynamic group of guys. More importantly, he is a high academic and high character young man who fits right into the foundation that we established last season.”

While this will be the first time two Howard County Players of the Year will be on the same roster at Howard CC, its not the first time Keys and Eaton have suited up together. As freshmen in high school in 2016, the duo played together on the JV team at Wilde Lake and helped the program to a 19-3 record.

Eaton ended up transferring to Oakland Mills prior to his sophomore year and the duo went on to become two of the most prolific scorers in county history — both currently ranking among the top 15 all time.

Keys is the latest in what has been a standout recruiting class this offseason for the Dragons. Smelkinson said the program has also signed Koby Baptiste (Parkdale), Teylor Silverman (Lansdowne), Benjamin Murphy (Franklin) and Omar McGann (St. Charles) to join the team’s 2020-21 roster. Baptiste, Silverman and Murphy were all first team All-County selections in their respective areas.

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