Jeremy Kees was one of the players that helped lay the groundwork for the success of Belmont’s men’s basketball program. A letterwinner from 1996-2000, Kees played in 106 games, starting 71 of them. He is one of 42 players to score 1000 career points and ranks fourth in the NCAA era with a career field goal percentage of .554. Recently, BelmontBruins.com talked with Jeremy about his time at Belmont and his current role as a professor at Villanova.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I chose Belmont because of the coaching staff, commitment to academic excellence, and proximity to my girlfriend (who is now my wife).
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
I hit a buzzer beating three-pointer at Winthrop in January of 1999. We had already lost five games by three points or less that season and it felt great to finally win a close game. This was the only game winner I hit in my career.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont? How?
Betty Wiseman. BW invited me on a sports evangelism trip to Poland my freshman year. On that trip, I became a Christian, which changed my life forever. BW has had a powerful impact on many Belmont student athletes.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
The coaching staff taught me so many important things that I still apply to my personal and professional life today. Work ethic. Perseverance. Mental toughness. Doing work “the right way” without cutting corners or taking shortcuts. The “off the court” life lessons I learned while playing basketball at Belmont are the most valuable.
What advice would you give to current members of the basketball team?
Pay attention to how the program is run. Take note of how you are treated by your coaches. Coach Byrd has built a special program that you will be proud of long after your playing days are over. Don’t take that for granted.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dr. Robert Lambert. Dr. Lambert inspired me to pursue a career in academia.
Where do you live now?
In the suburbs of Philadelphia.
What is your current occupation?
I am a marketing professor at Villanova University. I teach in the business school and conduct consumer behavior research. (Editor’s Note – Jeremy was recently named one of the top 40 business professors under age 40 in the world by PoetsandQuants.com). Read the story here
Tell us about your family.
I married my high school sweetheart, Brooke. We have two beautiful children who are huge Belmont fans.
Fun Fact: I try to see at least one Belmont game live every year. Brooke and I were in Washington DC to see the 2007-08 team come within a point of beating Duke in the NCAA tournament. I was in Chapel Hill to see the 2013-2014 team beat UNC. My family saw the team play an exhibition game in Ireland this past summer.