By Chris Fahrendorf
After playing for ASU basketball for three years, averaging just 2 minutes per game across 14 appearances, former walk-on Kyle Feit was not satisfied. After careful consideration, he knew he had to make a bet on himself.
According to Feit, at ASU, he never had a fair chance on the court to prove he could be a successful Division 1 basketball player.
So, in the summer of 2020, he entered the transfer portal. But with no guarantee there would be a season due to COVID-19, Feit decided to return to ASU.
Once again after the 2020-21 season, Feit entered the transfer portal, but he did not receive Division 1 offers. According to Feit, former and current ASU coaches told him they viewed him as a Division 2 player. He questioned the advice he was getting as he chose to play his next season at Indian River State, a junior college.
“When I posted I was going to junior college, a lot of people said I was done and counted me out,” Feit says. “Sometimes in life, you have to take a step backward to take a step forward.”
Although Feit was taking a step back in terms of competition, he says he believed it was necessary to go to a school that would give him the opportunity and playing time to show that he belonged as a Division 1 player.
“There was a mutual understanding that this was an eight-month business trip. I’m here to go one year, get film, win, prove myself and go onto the next level,” Feit says. “It was kind of like I help you win and you help me get looks.”
Feit delivered on his promise of helping the team succeed. He finished this last season averaging 12.3 points per game while shooting 46.5% from three for the No. 2-ranked NJCAA team in the nation. He also made 112 threes, good for most in the nation by a junior college player.
Heading into the season, Feit knew he was ready to have a breakout year. According to Feit, he has been in the gym nightly since his first day at ASU to improve his game. He says he believes his work ethic prepared him for his best season.
“The confidence was being built from all the work that I put in,” Feit says. “When you study for a test really well, you know you’re going to go into the test confident. I got to the point where I walk into any gym and I feel like I’m the best shooter in the gym.”
Feit says his consistency is what attracted Division 1 coaches. By the end of the season, he received between 15 and 20 Division 1 offers.
Although Feit says it felt good to prove his doubters wrong, something else was more important.
“Part of it is proving myself right and not necessarily everyone wrong,” Feit says. “People that doubted me and people that didn’t give me a chance or believe in me are fuel to my fire.”
After visiting multiple schools, Feit connected with New Mexico State and its new head coach, Greg Heiar, who coached against Feit last season at Northwest Florida State College.
“Coach Greg Heiar was at Wichita State with Landry Shamet and Fred VanVleet,” Feit says.
“In my college decision, what went into it was, yeah, I want to have a good college career, but who’s going to set me up in a position where I can make money after college? Coach Greg Heiar has those connections, and I feel like I can be an NBA player out of New Mexico State.” CT