KEOTA — JD Stout has thrilled local basketball fans with his uncanny abilities on the basketball floor as a player for Keota High School.
Now he will remain fairly local as he has committed to continue his career at William Penn, a private, liberal arts university in Oskaloosa. The university’s athletic teams compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The university is a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Before 2000, the school was a part of the NCAA Division III.
“I’ve grown up watching William Penn basketball ever since I was little,” Stout said. “Keota had a former player go there and I remember following him throughout his collegiate career.”
“We love JD!” said John J. Henry, William Penn head men’s basketball coach. “Honestly, JD reminds us a lot of a former Keota player we had named Taylor Stoutner, who was pretty dang good here at William Penn.”
A scoring machine, the Keota point guard could score from anywhere on the court, often driving headlong into the lane for a tough layup or stepping back to can a long-range jumper. Stout was second in the state, regardless of class, in scoring with an average of 29.1 points per game in the 2019-20 season. The 6-footer led the Eagles to a 20-4 record this season.
“He should be able to fit in college,” said his father and high school coach Dan Stout. “He has good ball skills and has good court sense and awareness. He will have to continue to work on shooting as that is what they are wanting him to do. His defense will have to improve and he will have to adapt to the quicker pace of the college game.”
As a senior, Stout made 250 of 451 field goal attempts for a 55.4 percentage. He nailed 65 of 171 3-pointers for 38 percent. Stout rarely missed a free throw, canning 133-of-157 for 84.7 percent. He had 89 rebounds for a 3.7 average, 70 assists to 61 turnovers and 42 steals.
“We actually offered him a scholarship last year in July, at our individual high school camp,” Henry said. “JD can shoot and score, and that is awesome. However, being a coach’s kid, playing football and being from the area, and knowing how we play were factors as well. You never know completely how an incoming freshmen will fit, but with his shooting ability, we are excited to find out. Obviously he will have an adaptation period with the speed, size and athletes at the college level as opposed to his high school level, and how quickly he can adapt will determine his position within the program.”
The location of the school was one of a number of tipping points for JD Stout when he was choosing a school.
“I like that it is nice and close to home and I really like coach Henry,” JD Stout said.
Henry, who owns a career record of 393-206 (. 656), has produced 52 all-conference performers, 20 All-Americans, 72 academic all-conference selections, and 27 NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Entering the 2017-2018 season, he ranks in the top 20 among active NAIA men’s basketball coaches in both wins and winning percentage.
“I took into consideration the facilities, success of the team, distance from home, and just where I think I have the chance to contribute to help win some ballgames,” JD Stout said. “I also considered playing football for William Penn as well, but that just seemed like a lot, trying to manage football basketball and school.”
The Statesmen were 30-3 last year and on the way to the national tournament when it was canceled. Henry became the Statesmen head coach seven games into the 2001-2002 season and has since turned the program into a perennial power. He has headed seven teams to conference titles (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) and nine to NAIA Division I or II National Tournaments (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Eleven of his squads have reached the Conference Tournament Finals (six titles in 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), while the 2013 team won a school-record 34 games, highlighted by a 20-game winning streak.
Stout only visited Iowa Wesleyan and William Penn. but looked at other colleges, also considering Briar Cliff. “Both colleges are very nice and had aspects that I liked about both.”
Like many his age, Stout is unsure of his career path. “I currently don’t know for 100 percent certain, but I am leaning toward business and finance.”