From the junior varsity team as a freshman to becoming a varsity reserve as a sophomore to enjoying a breakout season as a junior, Khyrie Staten has methodically worked his way up in the mighty St. Frances boys basketball program.
The senior guard was rewarded with a college basketball scholarship, making a commitment to Delaware State University last Friday.
Last season, Staten made the most of his increased minutes, averaging 10 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists in helping the No. 1 Panthers (38-4) win a third straight Baltimore Catholic League title.
St. Frances coach Nick Myles quickly described him as “a coach’s favorite.”
“Khyrie is truly the definition of trusting the process,” Myles said. “He’s somebody who has worked for everything he got, a great student, and a great representation of what it takes to be a great student-athlete at the high school level. I’m excited for Khyrie to go to Delaware State. He definitely earned it.”
When senior standouts Jordan Toles and Jahmal Banks left the program for early college enrollment, Staten made the most of the extra minutes he was given. He was at his best with a complete performance that included 20 points in an 80-61 win over national power Oak Hill in early February. The third straight BCL crown followed.
“For me, it’s just all about winning games,” he said. “I realized I had to step up and be a help to the team. I just knew I had to stay in the gym consistently, work on my shot and just be there when I was needed.”
Myles wasn’t surprised Staten was ready to seize the opportunity.
“Everything with Khyrie starts when nobody is watching,” Myles said. “He spends countless hours in the gym working hard every day, honing his craft, getting better. He knew his role was to do whatever — to defend, to score and he was truly one of the breakout stars in our area.”
Staten was quick to credit Myles for giving him positive instruction and an opportunity. He believes he’ll get the same kind of mentoring at Delaware State with coach Eric Skeeters, who was a former assistant coach at St. Frances under legendary coach William Wells. The Hornets went 6-26 last season competing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which includes Morgan State and Coppin State.
“I’m just grateful they gave me an opportunity. I’m going to be there for the team and I want to win a championship,” Staten said. “[Coach Skeeters] is a good guy and I think he’s somebody I really need in my life because he’s probably going to be another Nick. He’s going to be hard on me, but also teach me valuable lessons in life.”
Delaware State has three Baltimore area players on this year’s roster in John Crosby (Poly), Ronald Lucas (Lake Clifton) and Joseph White II (Western Tech).