Outdoor-minded Keizer chooses Olivet Nazarene University for basketball


By Jeff Vorva

Timothy Christian senior Alex Keizer says he loves the outdoors. As a matter of fact, he hopes for a career in environmental sciences so he can be outside quite a bit in his career.

“I like the idea of helping the environment and helping wildlife,” he said. “I love being around conservation and being outside.”

Keizer is also a baseball and basketball player at the Elmhurst school. So, when he had to make a choice for college, he had to forego the outdoors for an indoor sport. Keizer is committed to playing basketball at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.

Don’t worry; he will get outside a fair share during his time at ONU.

“They have a great environmental science program,” Keizer said. “They are really good at that. They own their own forest preserve.”

On the court, ONU has been owning opponents as the Tigers have become regulars in the nation’s top 20 among NAIA schools.

Speaking of outside…Keizer, a 6-foot-4 wing player for Timothy Christian, has always been a deadly outside shooting threat, but in 2023-24, he worked on his inside game as well to help prepare for college.

“His strength is for sure the ability to shoot,” Timothy Christian coach Scott Plaisier said. “He has one of those naturally pure shots that looks like it is going in every time it leaves his fingers. It’s pretty effortless, and he has some good range with it, and he’s been able to quicken it up over the year. This season, he has added more ways to score,” Plaisier added. “He gets a handful of buckets a game with his back to the basket. On a few of those plays, he developed a mid-range game where when defenders crowd him off the line, he’s able to get downhill a little bit and knock in a 15- or 16-footer off of one or two dribbles.”

Keizer comes from a basketball family with a rich history. His father, Denny, played at Timothy and went to North Park. He was inducted into the North Park Hall of Fame in 2019 and had a career in which he earned All-America honors. His older brother, Trey, is a sophomore at Wisconsin Lutheran College after spending a year at St. Norbert.

Alex will always have fond memories of his sophomore season at Timothy Christian when Trey was a senior and Denny was a sophomore coach for the Trojans but would be on the bench for the varsity games.

Game night was family night for the Keizers.

“It was fun playing with my brother my sophomore year, and it was a dream of mine to play with him and for my dad to be my coach,” Alex said. “I’m just happy that happened. All the training that I do with them, and all of the practice, have prepared me for who I am now.”

Alex’s basketball education started at an early age. “Kindergarten was all basketball all the time,” Alex said. That included playing games at the historic St. Joseph gym in Westchester.

Soon, he was taking – and making – long-distance shots.

“My dad taught me how to shoot – he’s one of the best shooters I know,” Alex said. “He helped me work on my footwork and my form and post fades and all that. Trey is the guard in the family, and I’m the post and the shooter. That’s what everyone says.”

After playing countless games and attending countless practices with Timothy Christian, as well as his AAU team, the ET21 Buckeyes, Alex still has a love for the game.

“I love how every game is different,” he said. “Nothing is given to you. You have to work for it the whole game.” ■

Timothy Christian wing Alex Keizer has a laugh with teammates in a game against Sandburg in December.
Photo by Jeff Vorva