In memoriam: Terrance “TK” Keaton

Posted: November 23, 2010 by Jared Field in College, High School

Terrance Keaton, 20, died on Monday in a car accident. He was a member of the St. Clair Community College basketball team that won the 2010 regional championship back in March and a friend to many in this basketball community.

TK —

I might have actually coached you once or twice in all the time I’ve known you; even so, you always called me “coach”and I never corrected you.

You were something special, Terrance. You didn’t need basketball to be a star. To know you was to love you.

I can remember the first time I saw you on a basketball court. You were just starting your sophomore season at International Academy of Flint. I had just stopped in to watch practice in that matchbox-sized gym with the hoops that I told you were too low after I saw you dunk. You didn’t know me at the time, but that didn’t stop you from guaranteeing that your team would beat Genesee Christian for the district title before you’d even played a game that season.

A few months later, I couldn’t help but endanger my credentials as an unbiased reporter (I worked at the Journal at the time) when I openly cheered after you did what you told me you’d do.

In typical grandiose fashion, I remember you screaming “we shocked the world!” as the buzzer sounded. In retrospect, I don’t think you shocked anyone. The Terrance I knew would do whatever it took to help his team win, and that’s exactly what you did. It didn’t matter what jersey you were wearing. If you were playing AAU ball for the Lakers, high school ball for the Cavs or college ball at St. Clair, you were always a team guy.

You always tried to cultivate a rough and tough exterior, but people who knew you weren’t fooled. You’d go to war for a friend; you were kind almost to a fault and you never failed to boast about your teammates before saying a word about yourself.

I talked to your old coach, Chris Matheson, on the phone today. He was understandably devastated at the news of your passing. He told me some great stories about you that I hadn’t heard. Of course I’m very well acquainted with your antics, but it’s always good to hear new ones. The antics were what made you unique, and your coaches lived with them because you went 100% all game, every game.

Coach Matheson told me that every teams needs a Terrance Keaton; a guy who makes being a part of something, anything, more fun than it could ever be on its own.

I’m going to miss our Facebook chats and the text messages after big games; but, most of all, I’ll miss that goofy smile of yours. (Everyone who knew you knows what I’m talking about.)

They also know that you had the reputation for being the guy that just couldn’t stop talking, on or off the court. The talking stopped on Monday, if only for a short while. Your example still speaks today. You lived life to the fullest and positively affected everyone you came into contact with.

Rest in peace big man.

— Jared

  1. Brandon Hill says:

    R.i.P TK.!

  2. Robbie Williford says:

    This is such a sad ending to an amazing story. This young man was very respectable and was already on the road to success. This is very unfortunate. I’m speechless.

  3. No name needed says:

    R.I.P baby boy you were truly loved by so many people and so many people will miss you. I know I will.We had the type of relationship that no one will ever know about or understand.It tears apart just to think that your gone. I really didn’t think I would react the way I am. I guess you never truly know how much you care about someone until there gone. You will always have a place in my heart and I will always have a piece of you with me that no one else has or ever will have. you know what I’m talking about.I’m not saying good bye I’m just saying ill see you later until we meet again in heaven.I know your in a better place and you don’t have to struggle no more. I’m not worried about you one bit. I know your just fine and well taken care of. I’m worried about the ones affected by your lost and my heart and prayers go out to your family I know this is so hard for them right now.

  4. I told Jared after I confirmed the news with him that I didn’t know what to say. Well, as I shed a few tears sitting at my desk at work, many thoughts did flood my mind. As I talked to my current team at practice today, I shared some of them with them. I will share some here. First, I would like to say that the RIP mantra doesn’t fit death for me, especially with someone such as TK who lived such a vibrant life. His body will be laid to rest and return to the ground, that’s a given, but his spirit remains to live on. The last thing his spirit would want in my opinion is to remain at rest. So I say this, much like Jared pointed out so well in this memorial column, let’s live for others like TK did for his team, family, and friends. Let his spirit live on in that way and never rest until we all get it.

    Not only that, but I was thinking about how much we assume that tragedy strikes bad people. This clearly is an example of the opposite case. What I told my boys tonight is to not think that just because you are good, caring, a good student, and not in trouble with the law, that negative things can’t happen. What we have to learn from this is that we MUST, not can, but MUST take advantage of the time we have here with our loved ones. Tell your family and friends you love them. Do something special for someone “just because” not just on a holiday. Be a better person today than you were yesterday and tommorow even better than today. Get right with God not because of tragedy, but because it is the right way to be. Be an example to others. Live a life of unselfishness and support another’s dreams. Leave no stone unturned and there will be no regrets…

  5. sabetodo says:

    I remember he would bring a…was it a Hello Kitty backpack to practice? It was something like that. It was pink, anyway, and not something a 6’6″ basketball player would typically carry around. But that was TK. That first summer with the Lakers was one of the best of my life, and TK was a huge reason for that.

    Marcellus said everything else for me.

  6. Don Mathews says:

    What an outstanding article, Jared. As you may or may not know, I have known TK since the day he was born. Our familes have known each other for 36 yrs. I considered him my nephew and he called me Uncle Donald. When I broadcasted St. Clair games, I worked very hard to be objective but I was very proud of him. I once made a comment on air about him being “a little light in the butt” and he laughed when he listened afterwards and told me he was trying to put on weight but couldn’t. At this very difficult time for all of us, I know his mom and sister will appreciate this article. I know I do.

  7. Dariyana Mitchell says:

    TK was such a amazing person i worked at Wendy’s with him here in Port Huron. Immediately we clicked we became such great friends in a short period of time, he has touched so many lives including mine, he talked to me about some of his problems we played ball together i was always Superstar to him. Im gonna miss him so much its a tradgedy what happened to him Love You TK RIP


  8. Christopher Tauscher says:

    Definitely gonna be missed such a great person and life lost way too early. Had some great times in Computer class screwing around will never be forgotten… Much love TK… To his family im very sorry for you loss and know you guys will pull through and rise above this tragedy…

  9. jennifer kelly says:

    i am sorry to the family and friends of tk i am a friend of shareanna’s from work. my heart aches for her and his family my prayers will be with you.

  10. Anton Wilson says:

    R.I.P. to my Big Bro T.K.! He wasnt jus a friend, a mentor, or big cousin he was my bro! The one that never let me stop from doing anything! I remember one day me and him was in the gym working out right before he went to college. And we was getting after it in every drill and about an hour into it I wanted to quit! And yu was like naw we still got an hour an a half and running! After we finish I was so tired and yu was just laughing! But the same drills we did that night I still do to this day! If I never told yu big cuz Thanks and I love yu man! It had to get over that yu gone and honestly I think I will never get over that yu gone! But this year Im going hard for yu! WE HERE TK OUR HOOP DREAMS GONE MAKE IT BABY! LOVE YU BIG CUZ!!!!!

  11. Lady Shauwn ( your Cousin) says:

    Words can not describe how special my cousin was….. Terrance has always been a friendly person and very athletic. Every since we were small every where we went he would make a friend. my aunt always said “terrance you always making friends” but thats good. Im so proud of the way you turned out with school and everything….. you always put the best in everything you wanted to achieve…… and from reading all of these messages on here I see that you’ve made alot of good friends……..I wanna thank everyone that have us in there prayers! ………Thanks so much…….its so nice to know that Terrance has touched so many hearts……. Peace be with you all….RIP LIL COUSIN….Auntie will be there with you…..

  12. Angela Hall says:

    I will never forget the 1st day your mom brought you to our house, you where about 6 months old I was only 10 but so excited that my mom would be taking care of you. You had a laugh and smile that would light up a room and the chunkiest feet I had ever saw…..never did I imagined how big those feet would get. I remember how you use to pack food in your checks it was the cutest thing, you where like a lil bro to me. I was alway excited to feed you and change you and you made our house bright with rich colors when you where there, you where our lil man and a big part of our family. I remember how you called mom “momo” and you taking your 1st steps down our hall and mom yelling for me to grab the camera, which she kept near by because she wanted to make sure your mom didn’t miss out on anything. I was over joyed when you guys moved next door to us and for over 10 years I was able to see you guys when ever I walked out the door. We spent a lot of holidays together, and you always asked if I was going to make spaghetti salad. You never failed to show me love and picked at me calling me “big headed Angie” when ever you saw me. I didn’t tell you often but it has been a joy to watch you grown up and having your family be apart of mine. You had so much of your Mother ways always kind and loving if anyone needed help you where there. I ,loved to brag about you and your basketball accomplishments, I would tell people that’s my “lil Cuz” with the biggest smile. Your TeeTee to me TK to other’s but Amazing to all! Rest in peace…love Angela H.

  13. Andrea Muma says:

    Terrance Keaton was one of the funniest people I have ever known. Today, in school, we remembered you as we discussed the topic of texting while driving. It was at this time the students in Mrs. Darasieh’s class at Carman-Ainsworth were mourning the loss a of not only a classmate but also a beloved friend. TK although your not here with us today we will always have you in not only our hearts but also in our spirits. CAHS lost one of the nicest, funniest, and most talented of our alumni and we will love you always and never forget you. R.I.P TK “Always loved and NEVER forgotten.”

  14. Chaniese Turner says:

    Rest In Heaven TK. You Are Truly Missed By Me And Many Others! I Love You And Keep Guiding Me Through This Crazy World Of Ours!

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