K-State Mourns the Passing of Keith Amerson

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From K-State Athletics . . .

Former Kansas State men’s basketball player Keith Amerson, for whom the team’s Academic Award is named, recently passed away at the age of 50 (December 29).

A native of Los Angeles, California, Amerson played two seasons (1989-91) for the Wildcats for head coaches Lon Kruger and Dana Altman, helping the school to the 1990 NCAA Tournament. A captain and starter in all 28 games as a senior in 1990-91, he led the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg.) while ranking second in steals (1.3 spg.), third in assists (2.4 apg.) and fourth in scoring (8.5 ppg.).

Amerson played in all 57 games in his two-year career, including 32 starts, averaging 5.2 points on 45 percent shooting (118-of-262) with 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 19.1 minutes per game.

Amerson started his college career at Santa Monica Junior College (1987-89), where he led the school to a 59-12 overall record in two seasons and a No. 1 ranking for most of the 1988-89 season. He was selected the 1989 co-California Junior College Player of the Year by the California Community College Coaches Association and the Western State Conference’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The Keith Amerson Academic Award was established by Altman in 1992 to honor Amerson for “his determination to reach his potential on and off the court and set the standard for future student-athletes.”

Men’s basketball players to receive the Keith Amerson Academic Award include four-time recipients Josh Reid (1997-2000), Clent Stewart (2005-08), Victor Ojeleye (2009-12), and Brian Rohleder (2012-15) as well as current player Pierson McAtee (2018).

Amerson appreciated his experience at K-State and frequently attended men’s basketball reunions, remarking “Kansas State gave me an opportunity. I’m so appreciative of my coaches… Lon Kruger, Greg Grensing and Dana Altman. They created an opportunity for me.”

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Mitch Fortner

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