Recruit R.J. Keene wears Boise State face mask rather than hat to announce college decision


We’ve all seen the commitment photos and videos for high school athletes, Many times they pull out the logo hat of the school they chose to tell the world where they are taking their talents the next year. But it’s 2020 and everything is different, so one high school athlete did a reveal more appropriate for these times.

R.J. Keene, Class of 2021, decided to wear a face mask to show his decision rather than the typical hat. The four-star basketball prospect from Houston committed to Boise State. He made his decision public on Thursday.

The moment served as a way for him to tell everyone where he’d be playing in the future, but also as a way to remind people to wear masks. Keene discussed the moment, emphasizing the importance of everything else going on. 

“Coronavirus is the biggest thing right now, and for me committing, to be honest, I’m the least most important thing right now,” he told ESPN. “I want to spread awareness that everyone should wear masks so we can get back to basketball.”

Keene says he wants to ensure he uses the opportunities given and his platform to bring awareness to the issue at hand and encourage people to wear masks.

“It’s a sickness and you do not want to get sick. To stop it from spreading, it’s as simple as wearing a mask,” he said. “That’s the thing. What does it take? Three seconds? I have a young audience. This might make a bunch of 10-year-olds put on masks.”

Keene picked Boise State over Utah State, George Washington, Iona and Hawaii.

The 6-foot-7 wing visited Boise State virtually, but said it was the coaches that helped him make this decision.

“I had the best relationship with the coaches and this is a match made in heaven. They put dudes in the [NBA],” he said.

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