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Tefft headed to different court after basketball season

Friday, January 18, 2008  
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By Guest Writer

Tiffany Sherman

Many college students learn to multi-task in order to stay on top of their school work and other activities. For Oklahoma Christian University junior basketball player Kyle Tefft, multi-tasking is his only option.

Tefft is a leading force on the basketball court. He red-shirted during the 2005-2006 season and started in 11 of the 29 games he played last season. He recently netted a career-best 27 points in a game against Lubbock Christian University on Jan. 10, 2008.

When the last game of the basketball season is over, Tefft will turn his attention to the tennis court. Due to conflicting schedules with basketball and tennis, last season Tefft was only able to play in one dual match and once in the SAC Tournament with doubles partner senior Ryan Stephenson.

“I don’t actually do any tennis until basketball is over, so for me it is really just one then the other,” Tefft said.

His inability to contribute to the entire season does not keep him down.

“Hopefully, this year we will make it to the national tournament, so then I will hopefully be able to make a little more of an impact,” Tefft said.

Stephenson also holds a positive view of the upcoming season.

“I personally think that Kyle and I will have quite an impressive record together this semester,” Stephenson said. “I have no doubt that we will find a way to get it done.”

From running up and down the basketball court to hitting tennis balls with Stephenson, Tefft finds ways of incorporating the skills and abilities he learns in each sport to help out the other. Drills teaching quick feet, lateral quickness, hand-eye coordination and communication have helped Tefft to excel in both sports.

Practice, weight lifting and conditioning are not the only part of Tefft’s day. In addition to the sports that he participates in, he also has to worry about classes, tests and projects like any other college student. As a biology major, Tefft plans on attending dental school after he graduates in spring of 2009.

“Not only is Kyle an outstanding athlete, he is also taking on a lot of hard courses and is able to keep a high G.P.A,” head basketball coach Dan Hays said. “He is gifted all around.”

Tefft has developed multiple ways to keep stay motivated during the year.

“My motivation is really just trying to have fun. I really enjoy all the guys on both teams. I have always been competitive and have been playing sports as long as I can remember,” Tefft said. “Playing both sports just seems natural for me.”

Having fun is something Tefft and his teammates are good at. Outside of the hard work and long practice hours, there are inside jokes told, laughs exchanged and high fives given all around. 

“We really just have a good time,” Stephenson said.

Tefft’s ability to excel in two sports and handle the pressures of college can be traced back to his high school career. In high school, Tefft received honors in basketball as well as golf and cross-country. Tefft was also his school’s student council president and his class valedictorian.

He currently ranks second in scoring for the Eagles this season, averaging 15.4 points per game and leads the team in rebounding, bringing down 8.9 rebounds per game.

Tefft and the Eagles’ next home game will be on Saturday night against John Brown University, tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.

Photo by Steven Christy

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