Artis, Cavs showing and proving

Published 10:27 pm Friday, January 11, 2019

Lakeland Cavalier Keimari Artis was voted Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after winning the MVP award at the King’s Fork High School Holiday Tournament.

Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team has gotten off to a very good start this season. At 9-3, they have one of the best records in South Hampton Roads. The success of the Cavs has been evident this season, as Artis is the third player from the team to earn Player of the Week honors.

Lakeland won a holiday tournament a couple of weeks ago that featured all three Suffolk Public Schools teams. Artis won MVP of the tournament as he scored 21 points in the opening-round game and 14 in the championship game.

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“I knew going into the tournament that I was going to have to give my all,” Artis said. “With the two other Suffolk teams and Smithfield, we would have to play well. I feel like I played well both games to contribute to wins.”

After making All-District and All-Region last season as a sophomore, Artis feels like he stepped his game up a bit this season. He likes his role on the team, and he feels like he has been playing it well. He didn’t set any personal goals for himself this season. He just wants to win games, because overall, Lakeland didn’t win many of them last season.

Last season has motivated Artis and his team. This season has been a complete turnaround for Lakeland from its 2017-2018 season. The biggest difference has been the experience; no player had varsity experience last season, but this year, with that experience came winning.

“I remember all of those teams that beat us last year,” Artis said. “We are basically taking it personal every time we come on the court. We are hyped up, and we just want to live up to it.”

Artis played a lot of basketball with his teammates over the summer. During the summer, he also worked on ball handling. He said that last season, he wasn’t as comfortable bringing the ball up the floor, but now that he has worked on it, he is more comfortable.

Even though there are a good amount of games still left to play this season, Artis feels there is still time for Lakeland to reach its peak. Even with a 9-3 record, he believes they can be even better.

“I feel like we are playing good so far,” he said. “We still haven’t reached our highest potential. Once we become more consistent, it will be a scary sight.”