The senior guard's shooting in a double-overtime upset of Squalicum sent the Eagles to the state tournament for the first time since 1991.
RENTON — Jimmy Keum is known for his killer threes.
“When he’s hot, you can’t stop him,” Lindbergh teammate Casey Huppe said.
But Keum is no one-dimensional player.
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“Some games, I feel really confident in my shot,” the 6-foot senior guard said. “Like, when I’m hot, I’m really hot. But when I’m cold, I like to go to the rack more, attack the basket more.”
Whatever it takes to help his Lindbergh basketball team win. He’s a key reason the unranked Eagles are in the Class 2A state quarterfinals for the first time. They play top-ranked Clover Park, the defending champion, at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Yakima SunDome.
Keum keyed Lindbergh’s upset of No. 3 Squalicum last Friday, scoring 12 of his 25 points in the two overtimes. He was determined to find a way to win. The year before, the Eagles lost a season-ending game to Port Angeles in double overtime despite Keum’s 49 points.
“I told our team, we are not going to lose that (Squalicum) game, no matter what,” he said. “That would be the biggest heartbreak ever, to miss Yakima by one game.”
Robert Graham, who is Lindbergh’s fourth head coach in four years, said Keum has a winner’s mentality.
“You’ve got to have some kind of swagger, which he has,” Graham said. “He’s got a swagger, plays hard, plays defense. He’s a team player. He’s a team-everything. He can play at the next level. He’s got an opportunity to play where he wants to. I think he’s that good.”
Keum averages 19.3 points and has scored 30 or more four times this season. The team has come a long way from winning just two games in his sophomore season.
The Eagles’ only other state appearance came in 1991, when they went 0-2 in the 3A tournament.
“Now that we’re here, we feel like we can win the state championship,” Keum said. “We just beat Squalicum and they were one of the top (ranked) teams in 2A, so we feel like we can beat anyone right now. Our confidence is at an all-time high level. But we’re not going to be overconfident. We know we have to work hard every game. The competition’s just going to get harder. We just have to want it more.”