Felder looks to continue Horizon League dominance

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Felder looks to continue Horizon League dominance

Kahlil Felder, junior point guard, was named the preseason HL player of the year. 

Kahlil Felder, junior point guard, was named the preseason HL player of the year. 

Kahlil Felder, junior point guard, was named the preseason HL player of the year. 

Kahlil Felder, junior point guard, was named the preseason HL player of the year. 

By Jackson Gilbert

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Junior point guard Kahlil Felder has emerged into the national spotlight after two stellar underclassman seasons at Oakland. This year, the Golden Grizzlies will go as far as Felder will take them. 

Earlier this week, Horizon League coaches, media and sports information directors selected the point guard as the preseason HL player of the year. 

“I take it as an honor, though I still have a lot to do,” Felder said at the Horizon League media day in Chicago last week.

Felder is the returning leader in three stat categories: scoring, assists and steals. He was the only player in the country to average over 17 points and seven assists last season.

Playing at a generously listed height of 5-foot-9, Felder has made a name for himself as being one of the more athletic players in the country. 

He made Sports Center’s Top Ten twice last year with a cross over on Youngstown State’s Bobby Hain and a half court alley-oop to Tommie McCune against Eastern Illinois. 

Fellow teammate and redshirt sophomore Nick Daniels says Felder’s hype is well deserved. 

“He’s put lots of work in this summer to get to where he needs to be,” Daniels said. “He’s really put an effort in to learn how to be a leader.”

Daniels says all of the attention that Felder and Oakland basketball has received this year hasn’t gone to their heads, but it’s hard not to feel good about progress when the best are even acknowledging Felder’s talent. 

Former Michigan State power forward and current NBA star Draymond Green tweeted his feelings about Felder on Oct. 13. 

“Kahlil Felder should play in the NBA… Hopefully the league is now to a point where they will look at his game rather than his height!!!” Green said in his tweet. 

Felder’s freshman year was somewhat overshadowed by Travis Bader’s quest for the NCAA three point record. 

His sophomore year, he was given more reigns over the offense and was only overshadowed in the Horizon League by Green Bay star Keifer Sykes. 

The primary competition for player of the year in the Horizon will come from Valparaiso’s Alec Peters, who has been a star in his own right for the Crusaders and was named to the preseason all-league team last week as well. 

Although Valparaiso was picked first in the preseason poll, it’s anticipated that Felder will do all he can to stop that from happening.

Felder will be joined by former high school teammates Sherron Dorsey-Walker and Martez Walker. Both are transfers from the Big 12 and played with Felder at Detroit Pershing high school.

This year, Oakland and the Horizon League will be his for the taking. 

“We expect Kay to dominate and we expect to win the league tournament,” Daniels said.