2020 winter All-Area

Courtland’s Khai Seargeant, The Free Lance–Star’s All-Area boys basketball player of the year, averaged 21.5 ppg this season in driving the Cougars to the Class 4 state playoffs.

Khai Seargeant’s transcendent senior season is owed in at least small part to a bad break and a good mentor.

When Seargeant was in fourth grade, he fractured his ankle playing football. The injury sidelined him four to six weeks at a time when the gridiron had a firmer hold over him than the hardwood.

“He went back on the field, and you could clearly see he wasn’t ready,” Khai’s father Steve Seargeant said. “From that point on, he went straight to basketball.”

Around that same time, Khai met Eric Davis. The latter was coaching King George youth basketball on the side, and Seargeant attended a few of his camps. When Davis got the head coaching job at Riverbend in 2010, he’d sometimes bring an elementary-aged Seargeant to practice against the high schoolers.

“He really developed my game early and exposed me to a lot of stuff,” Seargeant said. “It was special when I got Coach Davis helping me out. It led to a whole lot of gates opening up for me.”

Years later, when a gate opened up for Seargeant in the form of Spotsylvania County schools redistricting, he walked right through it to Courtland and Davis. Their reunion was wildly successful.

Following his transfer from Massaponax, Seargeant led the Cougars (25–3) to a Region 4B championship and berth in the Class 4 state tournament. The Free Lance–Star player of the year averaged 21.5 points per game and shot a blistering 54 percent from the field.

Asked how much freedom he afforded Seargeant within the offense, Davis chuckled.

“You don’t get a talent like that very often, and I didn’t want to do anything to hold him back,” he said. “We needed his scoring at all times. It was a little different for me, because I never had a scoring point guard like that, and it was more of an adjustment for me than for him.”

Playing point guard requires vision. On a micro level, that might mean spotting passing lanes or a cutting teammate. Seargeant always possessed that kind of vision. It was the big picture that eluded him until fairly recently.

Seargeant could feel himself becoming a better scorer the past two years at Massaponax, shedding the pass-first mentality he’d clung to early on in his high school career.

“When I got to Coach Davis, he really opened my eyes to see I could do more than just play a role,” Seargeant said. “That I could do everything on the court.”

Everything included defense, an area where Davis saw opportunities for improvement. As the season progressed, Seargeant rounded out his game nicely, leading the Cougars with 108 steals. He also diversified his offensive repertoire with the addition of a mid-range jumper.

“He mastered that toward the end of the season,” Davis said. “If you saw our playoff run, it really opened his scoring up. Because he wasn’t going all the way, he was getting by the first man and pulling up near the free-throw line.”

After Courtland was upset by Chancellor in the Battlefield District final on Feb. 21, Seargeant sulked for two days.

“I didn’t really talk to anybody,” he said.

When Region 4B tournament play began, Seargeant let his play speak for itself. Despite double teams, junk defenses and generally better competition, he excelled during a crucial three-game stretch. His 36 points against Huguenot in the semifinals were a career high.

Seargeant remains uncommitted but has received interest from Lynchburg College, Virginia Wesleyan and Richard Bland College among others. Wherever he lands, Seargeant wants the opportunity to prepare for the next-next level.

“If I’m the player that everyone thinks I am—that I think I can be—I want to play pro ball and take basketball as far as I can,” he said.

Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045

jlomonaco@freelancestar.com

@joeylomonaco

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