UNC-Wilmington senior forward Keith Rendleman had the option of transferring to a variety of other schools when he found out, this summer, that the Seahawks were deemed ineligible for postseason play in the 2012-13 season. In an act of true loyalty, however, Rendleman chose to finish what he started in North Carolina. But, what comes as a bit of a surprise, is the primary reason he chose to come back: the beach.
That’s right, basketball doesn’t compare to a nice relaxing day in the sand. For a kid coming from the rural northwest portion of North Carolina, the combination of sun, waves and bikinis is all too tempting.
“The beach was one of the main reasons I came here,” Rendleman Rob Dauster of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. “I hadn’t really been to the beach that much before my freshman year. I like to get out there and play in the water all the time.”
UNCW head coach, Buzz Peterson, has no complaints with his star player’s obsession.
“He likes the beach,” said Peterson . “He loves to go down there a lot. When practice is over with, he’s gone.”
Rendleman says he had other reasons that played a big role in his return to the school. He has friends on the campus and fans on and off school grounds. His teammates are virtually family members and that wasn’t something he was ready to abandon. Another crucial part of the equation was that UNCW was one of the only schools to offer the 6-8 forward a scholarship coming out of high school. So, in a way, he felt indebted to them.
Whatever the reasoning behind his decision, UNCW fans can rejoice as they will get to see the reigning CAA rebounding champ back in action. Rendleman was one of 22 players in the country to average a double-double last season. He finished top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots. If he finishes this season averaging 9.2 rebounds or more, he will finish his career as the school’s all-time rebounds leader.
Rendleman and the Seahawks begin the season at home on Nov. 11 against UNC-Asheville.