In the O-K Red, Rockford’s Sam Krist immediately pops out with his plus athleticism, a combination of quickness and length as a 6-4 wing guard. Those physical tools prove to be utilitarian as well as aesthetic, as even against the highest competition he faced in AAU with the Grand Rapids Storm he looked right at home athletically. They’ll be put to the test even further, as Krist, a Rams senior, will be playing Division I basketball in the Patriot League after committing to the Naval Academy.
He was first-team all-league in the O-K Red last season, leading Rockford with 14.1 points per game while adding 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He gets into his shot easily and efficiently with range well beyond 20, and can counter that with a long, explosive first step — or vice-versa. He finishes above an open rim no problem and expect those kind of plays with rim defenders now that he’s a bigger, stronger senior.
“Sam had a great junior season, and he’s really worked hard since last season and didn’t let this pandemic slow down his growth as a player,” Rockford coach Kyle Clough said. “I think he has the potential to be our best defender. Sam is disciplined both on and off the court. He is the unquestioned face and leader of our program and I couldn’t think of a better guy to lead us through this difficult year.”
Krist will be the seventh Division I player in Rockford’s history.