Keith Jennings (basketball)

Keith Russell " Mister " Jennings ( born November 2, 1968 in Culpeper, Virginia ) is a retired American professional basketball player. After studying in his native country, where the only 1.70m tall players won the " Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award" for the best college basketball player with less than six feet in height, and the audition in a summer league began Jennings his professional career in 1991 with Brandt Hagen in the German Basketball Bundesliga. Then he made still made ​​it into the highest prize in the professional league NBA Golden State Warriors. After 1995 he played mainly in Europe and there, especially in France, where he continued his active career ended in 2004. He then returned to his homeland, where he worked as a coach at high schools and assistant coach of high school teams.


Jennings was awarded a place at the East Tennessee State University, where he played from 1987 for the high school team Buccaneers in the Southern Conference of the NCAA. The Buccaneers were not particularly successful basketball team and had last won in Jennings ' Year of Birth 1968 Ohio Valley Conference championship in the. Among other things, with the help of Jennings won at its second year, the championship tournament of the Southern Conference and defended that title twice in the following years. Jennings won the first two awards awarded by the coaches as the Player of the Year Southern Conference. After the second round participation in 1968, the Buccaneers qualified with the championship winning also the first time for the national NCAA finals in which one but three times was eliminated in the first round. In the first participation in 1989 you had been grouped on the last seat of the seedings in the regional group and then there was a historical surprise as close as never before another team to Mookie Blaylock to eliminate with the Oklahoma Sooners, the top-seeded team in the first round. After a 17- point lead of the " underdogs " in the first half, the Sooners were highly favored only in the final two minutes for the first time in the lead and the game finally were able to save with a point of difference over time.

Although the Buccaneers had achieved nothing special at the national level, Jennings, who bore the nickname " Mister " too college seasons and an outstanding distance shooter was in his senior year in 1991 as the "Second Team Consensus All-American " one of the ten best college basketball player elected the country and with the " Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award" for the best high school basketball player with a height of less than six feet (equivalent to 1.83 m) excellent. In contrast to all other excellent All-Americans Jennings was not selected in the " Entry Draft " 's richest professional league NBA. After the end of his active career in 2004 Jennings ' jersey number was at the Buccaneers " retired " locked ie for further award, and he received in 2013 the " Athletics Hall of Fame" ( German Athlete Hall of Fame ) his " alma mater ".

After the end of the study in 1991 Jennings tried yet to even recommend it over the summer league United States Basketball League at the Jacksonville Hooters for the NBA. After this first failed, he played in his first season as a professional at Brandt Hagen in the German Basketball Bundesliga. In the season 1991 /92, the Hagen reached with slightly positive record this season third in the northern group and eliminated in the first play-off round for the championship against TTL Bamberg. Then yet succeeded Jennings nor the dip in the season squad of NBA clubs and he played under Don Nelson in the NBA 1992/93 at the Golden State Warriors. This was still a completely unknown career path that an American basketball player succeeded by the college careers of the German League of the jump to the NBA. After Jennings had been used in his first NBA season in only eight games, he came into the NBA in 1993/94 in almost all games of the season to use and also in his only three play-off games for the Warriors, but first in the round were eliminated without a win. In its third season, Jennings was in a good quarter of the season games a member of the " Starting Five " and came up with over 20 minutes operating time per game, but the season record of Warriors slipped significantly into negative territory with 26 wins this season reached it only half as much victories as in the preseason, so you the play-offs in the NBA 1994/95 clearly missed.

After Jennings first 1995 got a new contract more, he played in the 1995/96 season at CB Estudiantes of Madrid in the Spanish ACB League. Estudiantes reached after the main round a very good fourth place and moved into the play-off semi-final series against defending champions FC Barcelona, ​​which they lost narrowly in five games. Jennings was a participant in the All-Star games in the Spanish league, the winner of the three-point distance throw competition. For the following season, Jennings made ​​the leap back into an NBA season squad and he received a contract with the Denver Nuggets. However, after an injury he got the entire 1996/97 season on the " Injury List" of nuggets without an insert to have a championship game. For the following season, 1997/98 Jennings went back to Europe and played in the French LNB Pro A at Le Mans Sarthe Basket. However, 18 wins in 30 main round games were only enough for seventh place, so that you can retire on the first play-off round against the second- placed team and eventual champions EB Pau Orthez -. In his second season at the West French Jennings increased to nearly 20 points per game, making him the top scorer of the French league, and was named Most Valuable Player of the highest French league, but 19 ​​wins this season ranged only a slight improvement on the sixth main round table space. In the first play-off round but could enforce against the third-placed team Cholet Basket this time. In the play-off semi-final series, however, one had to be beaten the record Champion and runner-up ASVEL Lyon- Villeurbanne.

After his successful seasons in France Jennings got a contract again in 1999 in Madrid in the Spanish ACB League. This time, however, he came at the " Royal ", the record champion Real Madrid, early in the season to use. Real, who had stayed in the previous year without a major title, but attacked shortly after the season starts to the Serbian world and European champions Aleksandar Djordjevic, so that there was no room in the squad for Jennings. Jennings, however, replaced his injured compatriot Mark Miller at Fenerbahçe Istanbul. At the beginning of the season 2000/ 01 he got a contract with the Lions of St. Petersburg, which had been founded with the sole purpose to the only Russian team " renegade " at the ULEB Euro League 2000 /01 to participate. The Russian Federation, which was initially loyal to the competitions of FIBA ​​Europe, the Lions refused to participate in the Russian championship. But even in the Euro League the success of the Lions was manageable and after five appearances in the first leg of the preliminary round Jennings left the club again. Jennings returned to the French League and played from December 2000 in Alsace Illkirch -Graffenstaden Basket from Strasbourg. The team lost to the fourth round, turn the main semifinal series against ASVEL; an experience that Jennings had two years earlier made ​​with MSB Le Mans. After one year contract period, the club dismissed him, however, in December 2001, again from his contract and Jennings played in the 2002/03 season for the Premier League rivals SLUC from Nancy. However, Nancy retired as sixth in the first play-off round against his former team from MSB. For the 2003/ 04 season, the nearly 35 -year-old Jennings was then re- committed from Strasbourg IG, which had reached as Table preseason relegation only by increasing the league. As a seventh of the spiked league but there was a return equal to the play- offs, where they failed at defending EB Pau Orthez.

After 2004, Jennings returned to his home country and worked as a basketball coach in particular at secondary schools. For the 2007 /08 season he returned once his former college to add to his begun studying a degree added. He was also active as an assistant coach on the staff of his former high school team Buccaneers. Then he initially worked again at a high school before he became in 2009 assistant coach at Bluefield College, but attend his high school teams only in the athletic less significant NAIA.