MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College Women's Basketball alum Shanteona Keys (2011-15) has been appointed a new member to the Knight Commission On Intercollegiate Athletics, widely recognized as the leading voice in amateur athletics.
The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 to promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission's recommendations, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. The Commission's Athletic and Academic Spending Database provides financial data for more than 220 public Division I institutions, creating greater financial transparency on athletics spending.
"I'm excited to once again have an impact on the lives of student-athletes through this committee," said Keys. "I feel I can pull heavily from my experiences on the National (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) SAAC and in my current role in athletic leadership for Growing Leaders. I'm looking forward to being a part of the decision-making process for legislation and big-picture ideas."
"I feel prepared to serve on a committee that focuses on the balance of academic and athletic ventures because that is what was modeled in my past both at Georgia College and at the DII level."
Keys is one of three new members to the commission, joining Dr. Christine Copper, Professor of Chemistry and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative at the United States Naval Academy, as well as Peter Roby, who has served as Director of Athletics and Recreation at Northeastern University for ten years. This trio will join the Knight Commission at its next meeting May 7.
"We are very proud of the work Ms. Keys did while she was at Georgia College both on the court and in the classroom. Her work ethic, dedication and experience as a college athlete makes her a perfect fit for the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics," said Dr. Steve Dorman, Georgia College president. "We have no doubt she will serve current and future athletes in support of the Commission's goal to strengthen the educational mission of college sports."
Keys works as an athletic leadership specialist for Growing Leaders, a non-profit leadership training and development company, which equips the next generation and its parents, teachers, coaches and mentors through relevant and innovative events and resources.
One of the most decorated student-athletes in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) history, Keys was named a Capital One Academic All-American twice and a finalist for the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award. Winner of the women's basketball PBC Elite 15 Award, she graduated with a degree in mass communication and a 4.00 GPA.
The 2014-15 PBC Scholar Athlete of the Year, she served as the PBC's representative on the national SAAC Committee for three years and has been featured in NCAA Champion Magazine. Named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll all four of her years, she was named to the WBCA Allstate Good Works team, one of 10 women's basketball players from all three divisions and the NAIA to be so recognized.
Keys was equally impressive on the court and leaves as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,822 career points, sixth-highest in PBC history. The 2012 PBC Freshman of the Year, she was named All-Conference all four years she competed.
"I said it when she was here and I say it today, 'you get a Shanteona Keys once in a career if you are lucky,' so each time she reaches another pinnacle of success, I am not surprised at all," said Wendell Staton, Director of Athletics. "She will play a vital role in being a part of the elite thought leaders regarding the alignment of higher education and athletics. Head Women's Basketball Maurice Smith deserves all the credit for identifying her talent, bringing her to Georgia College, and helping to nurture her path to greatness. We are so fortunate to call her a Georgia College graduate."
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup and the 2017 PBC Sportsmanship Institution of the Year, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.