A Penguin is Grieving

By J. Harvard Feldhouse

Darian Keyser was a superstar in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. He was a noticeable presence in the community not only with his 6-foot-6 stature but also with his heart, dedication and deeds.

Darian was very involved in extracurriculars as president of his Jamestown High School class four years straight, a member of Spanish Club and the National Honor Society and a reporter for the student newspaper. He was a devout Christian active in his church and youth group. 

He was also a fantastic basketball player. Last year, he was key in the team’s 2019 District 10 championship. This year, as team captain and the only senior on the team, he scored his 1,000th career point, making him one of five students in the school’s history to achieve this. He was committed to study and play basketball at Geneva College.

He was a son, brother, boyfriend, classmate, teammate and friend.

Personally, I wasn’t close to Darian, but the Jamestown community is small. I graduated with 44 classmates that I knew my whole life, and Darian was set to graduate with 29. I knew him, I knew his family and I knew his friends. 

His influence on those around him is undeniable. The moment I heard of his death on Feb. 17, my heart broke for his family. His father, Brian, is the school principal, and his older sister, Mikayla, was my teammate on the girls’ basketball team. I can only imagine the pain they’re going through.

With that in mind, I task the YSU student body with this: love. Mikayla Keyser is a student here. She may be absent now  — and for good reason — but I’m sure she will be returning to classes soon. If you see her in class or around campus, give her all of the love and support you can. 

A Penguin is grieving; let’s huddle and keep her warm.