Keith Hamilton is a star defender for the La Quinta Blackhawks. He’s also been team captain the past two seasons.
“It’s nice if your leaders are also among your most talented players and so he’s had that quality since he’s been in our program. He was a captain as a junior, which is pretty rare for me,” said La Quinta boys soccer coach Scott McKee.
“I don’t think I’m shy at all. I’m real outgoing, which helps with my leadership," Hamilton said. "To be able to talk to new players or somebody that I haven’t played with in a long time and be able to bring them in, and if I know something that they don’t know, be able to tell them or be able to learn from them and grow together.”
“His voice is respected within the team and he just shows those qualities that you want in leadership,” McKee said.
The team always comes first for Hamilton. He previously played for FC Golden State of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, but in order to continue he was faced with a tough decision, club soccer or high school soccer. He chose the latter.
“He kind of, maybe, put a little bit aside from the soccer aspect, maybe as far as achieving the highest level he could get, to be with his friends, you know, and to be out there and put the La Quinta jersey on,” McKee said.
“I think I was just a lot happier to be out here with my teammates and my friends, and try to win out here,” Hamilton said.
“I think ultimately it says he cares," McKee said. "He basically was able to put his team first and maybe some of his private goals second. I still think those goals are attainable for him, but it might just be a different route."
He’s happy with his decision.
“Oh it’s meant the world. I’ve made memories, friends, experiences, it’s the whole package,” he said.
Hamilton has played since he was 10-years-old and plans to continue his competitive soccer career in college.