Keller to be a Lady Griz

Havre High senior Kyndall Keller verbally commits to the University of Montana women's basketball program


Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High standout Kyndall Keller has made her college basketball decision. Keller announced via Twitter Sunday night that she's verbally committed to the University of Montana Lady Griz. Keller, a three-time Class A All-Stater for the Blue Ponies of head coach Dustin Kraske, was also considering Carroll College, where both her parents played.

Kyndall Keller already has a strong case to make as one of the greatest girls basketball players in the history of Havre High.

And the fact that she is now committed to play basketball at the University of Montana will only cement that status further.

Keller made the announcement on her Twitter account late Sunday night, as she verbally committed to play basketball for the Lady Griz starting in the 2020-21 season. Keller, a three-time All-State selection, will head to Missoula to play for head coach Shannon Schweyen, who is entering her fourth season at the helm.

"I'm super excited that I will be continuing my academic and basketball career as a Lady Griz at the University of Montana," Keller said via Twitter Sunday night.

Keller said she was offered by the Lady Griz over the weekend and soon after she accepted. Carroll College was also under consideration but getting the offer to play for the Griz was a dream come true.

"It's an incredible feeling," Keller said. "I can remember going to watch the Griz play and watching my aunts play there. We have been big supporters for years, so it's always been a dream of mine to play for them. I have been to their camp and have been talking to them. It just shows that hard work pays off."

While Keller verbally committed to the Lady Griz Sunday, she will be able to put pen to paper later this year, as the early signing period for Division I college basketball ranges from Nov. 13-20. That will be right before she will embark on her senior season for the Blue Ponies as they attempt to capture their third straight Class A state championship.

"It was a tough decision but it's a relief to have it out of the way," Keller said. "I am really excited and I can't wait for my senior season."

Led by Keller, the Ponies have only lost one game over the past two seasons. Havre won the Class A state championship in both 2017 and 2018, defeating Hardin at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls each time. Keller scored 17 points for Havre in the state championship game last March, including two critical 3-pointers in the second half.

In addition to helping Havre win back-to-back state championships, Keller has been part of three teams that advanced to the state tournament. The Ponies also won the 2018 Eastern A Divisional title before later claiming the state title over Hardin.

Following an outstanding sophomore campaign, Keller took her game to another level as a junior, which is often the most important season when it comes to big-time college recruiting. And as a junior, Keller led Class A girls basketball in scoring with 17.1 points per game. She also averaged 5.3 rebounds, shot better than 52 percent from the field and made 31 percent of her 3-point attempts.

The 5-foot-8 Keller surpassed 1,000 career points last season and scored a career-high 31 against Rocky Boy in just 17 minutes of action last January. She finished the game 14-of-18 from the field.

Keller will follow in the footsteps of her aunts Cheryl and Juliann Keller, who each previously played for the Lady Griz. Her parents, Bill and Karen Keller, played for Carroll College. Bill was a former standout of the Turner Tornadoes.

"Carroll is also a really good school and that made it a difficult decision," Keller said. "Both of my parents played there and I really liked their program."

Keller will be the first Blue Pony since Loree Payne to join a Division I basketball program. Payne went on to play at the University of Washington after leading Havre to a Class A state championship back in 1997. She is now the head coach at Northern Arizona, one of the teams Keller will face when she joins the Lady Griz in the Big Sky Conference.

"It's a huge accomplishment," Keller said. "But I am just so thankful for the support network that I have in place with my parents, my teammates, my coaches, our fans, just everybody. Without all of that support, there is no way that this would have happened."


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