Shawnee Mission East senior Tyler Keys is more than a basketball player as she gives back to the community

Shawnee Mission East senior Tyler Keys
Shawnee Mission East senior Tyler Keys

Shawnee Mission East senior Tyler Keys took the ACT in December of last year as a junior and scored a perfect 36 on the reading portion. Her scores were a little low in math and science so she decided to retake it.

When she retook the test, she didn’t focus on studying for the reading portion at all and, once again, she earned a perfect reading portion. She also was perfect on the reading portion of the SAT.

“I was thinking about dentistry for a while,” Keys said of what she might major in. “Science is not my strong suit. I’m struggling in physics right now. I’m reconsidering maybe something in business or even law school where you still need your English and reading skills. You utilize them more than science, but you also need basic math skills and I’m in calculus right now and I’ll probably need it for business.”

Her reach schools are Vanderbilt and Stanford. Her next tier she applied to is TCU and then her safety schools are state schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Arkansas and Missouri.


Bio Blast

Tyler Keys
School: Shawnee Mission East
Sport: Basketball
College: Undecided
Accomplishments: Perfect score on reading portion of ACT, captain, Student Activities Advisory Council representative

Keys admits she’s not one of the most talented players on the floor, but said she contributes with her leadership skills. She was a captain as a freshman and junior to go along with her senior season.

“I try to be like the team mom,” Keys said. “I try to help the younger girls because they’re the ones struggling the most. Varsity players know what they’re doing, so I try to focus on the younger girls so they know what they’re doing and they’re not lost in the game.”

She is currently injured as she is dealing with swelling in her synovial joint in her left knee. She’s hoping to be back at practice next week, but knows she’ll have to practice and get into game shape before she sees playing time.

“I can’t do anything right now except dribble on the sidelines,” Keys said. “Right now, I’m standing on the sidelines helping them. I’ll definitely be out of shape and that will be a few hard weeks for me. We do timed sprints a lot of the time after practice. I’ll be struggling.”

Keys is acting as an extension for coach Lauren Lawrence. The coaches think she’d be a good fit for coaching later in her life, but right now Keys helps out twice a week with younger kids.

She also is one of the representatives for the girls basketball team for the Student Activities Advisory Council. There are two or three representatives per varsity team at Shawnee Mission East.

Each team has to do a volunteer project and the girls basketball team is going to elementary schools to read. Two girls are going to go to different schools each week. The Lady Lancers are also going to adopt a family during the holidays.

The big SAAC project is going to Hope House and they’re asking athletes to donate gifts to moms and kids.

“That will be really rewarding going and seeing all the families that are struggling,” Keys said. “It’s important to give back to our community. It’s important for all the girls, including me, to see how we can impact our community and there are families in our community we don’t know about who are struggling.”