Male Athlete of the Week: Keith sharpshooter Simmons leads by example

Published 5:45 pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

Keith’s A.J. Simmons drives to the basket during Friday’s game against Selma. -- Robert Hudson

After attacking the Selma defense all night in helping Keith to a 79-48 win on Friday, Keith junior A.J. Simmons is the male athlete of the week.

Simmons led the Bears with 19 points, including three baskets from behind the arch, in Keith’s season-opening win over the rival Selma Saints.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith High School, said Simmons is not only a good player, he’s also a high-character individual.

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“A.J. the kid, not the basketball player, he’s a junior and he may be a dual enrollment student, a straight-A student,” Tisdale said. “I have a son, and if I had to find one kid to say I want my son to do exactly what that kid is doing when I’m not around, it’d be A.J. He’s the model kid.”

And while Tisdale said Simmons might not be the most vocal of the Keith Bears, he leads by example and with character.

“He says yes sir, no sir. He’s always got the same mentality. You can’t even tell when he’s had a bad game,” Tisdale said. “He’s one of the first at practice. He’s my captain, but he doesn’t say much. But on the court, he leads by example. He’s going to do whatever we ask him to do. Anything he gets, he deserves it and he worked for it. He puts in the hours. He’s a great kid and I wouldn’t have any other.”