Loaded arsenal: Ives, Seaforth give Owls new identity
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor & Matt Gad—Sports Writer
Former Division I guards Kealen Ives, the all-time leading scorer in Rhode Island’s Classical High School history, and C.J. Seaforth, who starred at Hamden High, ended up transferring into the Owls’ program prior to this season.
Ives, a senior point guard from at Rider University in New Jersey, and Seaforth, a shooting guard who spent his freshman year playing for Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y, both loved the Division I game but wanted fresh starts and new opportunities.
“Rider was a fun experience, making it to the Division I level,” Ives said. “But once I got there it didn’t go as planned so when I came here [to Southern] it just motivated me to want to get better every day and want to perform.”
Ives said he wanted to go a school where he could maximize his opportunity on and off the court, and that if he went to another Division I school he would need to sit out a year before he could play, which is why while he was recruited by other schools in that division, he chose to come to a Division II program.
And while Ives was setting himself up for a better opportunity for his senior year, another Division I student-athlete also made the choice to transfer out.
“I asked for my release from Iona and a lot of schools were contacting me – DI schools, DII, junior colleges; most of the teams in the NE-10,” Seaforth said. “But then Coach Burrell and Coach Fogel started to call me the most and that’s where we started off.”
Ives, who grew up in Rhode Island, said he wanted to play for Burrell due to his resume in the NBA, while Seaforth on the other hand, who played high school basketball at Hamden High, Burrell’s alma mater, wanted to play for his home town hero.
Burrell, who assisted the current UConn assistant coach Tom Moore while he was running the Quinnipiac program, said his former program recruited both Seaforth and Ives when they were both starting their respective college debuts after high school.
“I recruited them both when I was at Quinnipiac but it wasn’t my decision to take them or not,” Burrell said. “I’ve seen those guys play for a long time and once I knew they were leaving [their schools] it was my chance to reach out and try to put my hat in the ring.”
He did say, though, that he thinks it’s tougher for Ives since he’s here for just one year while Seaforth, a sophomore, will be able to grow as a player.
Burrell said that while Ives has developed over the season, it may be tougher for him since he only has one year to mesh with the team’s system, while Seaforth will be able to grow over the next few years.
“I think it’s tough for Kealen. He’s here for one year, but he fit in from day one though, because he was assertive, and being one of the leaders for our team,” said Burrell. “C.J. is a younger guy. I think he was a little more unsure of himself, and he still might be, but he’s young. He’s going to grow and get better. They both got better, I think, as the year went on.”
Seaforth said he didn’t “know [Ives] specifically” but that he knew him through Iona via scouting reports when they had to play games against Rider and when they went over the matchups.
But there was no plan beforehand for both of them to team up together for the Owls; it was all just coincidental.
“It just worked out,” Seaforth said. “When we first met we just connected right off the bat. I push him, he pushes me and we’ve been through a lot, we’ve seen a lot. We don’t know everything but we’ve seen a lot of things other players don’t know and we just put it together.