HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball alum Keenan Peterson (College Park, Georgia.) became the second member of the Railsplitters’ most recent senior class to sign a professional contract in Switzerland, inking with Vevey Riviera Basket of the Swiss Pro-B league. Peterson’s signing comes just a week after his classmate Lorenza Ross (Savannah, Georgia.) joined Starwings Basket Regio Basel.
Peterson — a 6-10, 250 pound center — averaged 10 points and 8.3 rebounds per game for the Railsplitters last season, earning All-South Atlantic Conference second team laurels. He shot 58.8 percent from the field and served as the backbone of the Railsplitters’ no.1 ranked field goal percentage defense, providing 20 blocks and 14 steals.
Peterson started all 31 of his appearances last season, helping the Railsplitters capture their third consecutive SAC regular season title while also setting the league’s single season record for wins and winning percentage with a gaudy 30-3 mark. Lincoln Memorial reached the SAC Championship final for the third straight season, made a fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and hosted the NCAA Southeast Regional for the first time in program history.
“One of the real joys of coaching is watching a player improve over the course of his time here,” LMU head men’s basketball coach Josh Schertz said regarding Peterson’s pro contract. “It’s a credit to who Keenan is and the type of character he has that he was able to stay committed to a process of growth despite very limited playing time his first three years in our program. He continued to work, changed his body and has earned this opportunity.”
Peterson’s career resume features 556 points, 418 rebounds, a 57.4 field goal percentage, 54 blocks, 30 steals and a South Atlantic Conference record 109 wins. During Peterson’s stay in Harrogate, the Railsplitters went 109-18, were never ranked outside of the top 25 in the national poll, and won three SAC regular season titles. He is ranked ninth in LMU’s career history with 418 defensive rebounds, while his 573 total boards are the 12th-most all-time.
“Sometimes coaches get way too much credit when something like this happens,” Schertz continued. “The reality is the individual is the one that has to put in the work, has to understand the vision, has to believe how good he can be and make it happen. Coaches can talk all they want, show film and do drills. Players have to do it. Keenan will positively impact their organization because his method of operation is to be a coachable, hard-working individual who wants to help his team win. Regardless of his stats or minutes, he’s always upbeat, always ready to go. He’s a class act.”
Peterson’s new squad is based in Vevey, Switzerland, a small town (2.4 square miles) located on the north shore of Lake Geneva in the southwest corner of the country. Most famously recognized as the birthplace of milk chocolate and the home of the Nestle world headquarters, Vevey has a population of around 20,000.
Vevey compiled an 18-8 overall record last season, finishing fifth in the LNB standings. Featuring a long and storied history of success in the Swiss leagues that began in 1952, Vevey is coached by Antoine Mantey, who is also the personal trainer for Atlanta Hawks swingman Thabo Sefolosha.