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Three Redbirds to fly the coop

Archive Photos: Nick Zeisloft (left),Zach Lofton (middle) and Kaza Keane (right) all plan to leave ISU after this year to pursue other academic and athletic opportunities.

Archive Photos: Zach Lofton (left), Nick Zeisloft (middle) and Kaza Keane (right) all plan to leave ISU after this year to pursue other academic and athletic opportunities.

Nick Zeisloft, Zach Lofton and Kaza Keane will be transferring from the ISU men’s basketball team in pursuit of other academic and athletic opportunities.

Zeisloft, a redshirt sophomore guard, will be leaving ISU upon completion of his undergraduate degree in finance — with honors — this summer.

“It was an absolute pleasure to coach Nick [Zeisloft] over these past two years,”  head coach Dan Muller said. “Since Nick will be graduating this summer — in just three years — he is eligible to play immediately while pursuing his MBA (Master of Business Administration). I fully support Nick and his desire to earn a ‘top 50’ business degree while finishing his basketball career over the next two years and wish him nothing but the best.”

With his 3.71 grade point average, Zeisloft was named a 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete First Team. He was also a three-time MVC Scholar Athlete of the Week and a four-time  AFNI Honor Roll member.

Originally from La Grange, Zeisloft has been part of the starting lineup in 30 of the Redbirds’ 34 games in the 2013-14 season and played in 25 games in the 2012-13 season.

“I am very fortunate to have met wonderful people here in the community who care about me as a person and a basketball player,” Zeisloft said. “After a lot of consideration, this is the best decision for me moving forward in life as I pursue my academic goals and future life ambitions.”

Also transferring from ISU is sophomore guard Kaza Keane. The Ajax, Ontario native averaged 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in the 2013-14 season.

“Kaza [Keane] wants to get closer to his home so his family can see him play more often since they did not get to watch him play in person while he was in high school or during his past two years here,” Muller said. “Kaza has always represented our University the right way.”

Keane appeared in 31 games with 10 starts as a freshman in 2012-13 and played in all 34 games as a sophomore in 2013-14.

“The past two years have been great to me, and I am grateful for the coaches, my teammates and the fans here at ISU,” Keane said. “The experience has been great, but not being able to see my family is a burden.”

The final Redbird to leave ISU is sophomore guard Zach Lofton, who averaged 11.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in 2013-14.

“Zach [Lofton] will be leaving the program to play somewhere else,”  Muller said. “I am excited about Zach’s future as a person and player, and I believe he is more ready than ever to be successful. I want to thank Zach for his contributions this year and we will continue to help him academically and any other way we can.”

Lofton, a St. Paul, Minn., native, came off of the bench to play in 13 contests this season, including 13 starts as a sophomore after transferring to ISU from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas.

“I have been blessed to have played my first NCAA Division I season, and I’m thankful for my coaching staff, for the fans, for everyone who has helped me along the way and for everyone who has helped me grow as a person,” Lofton said.

Lofton, Keane and Zeisloft have helped guide ISU toward an 18-16 record in 2013-14, including marquee victories over a Top-25 program (No. 25 Dayton), a Big Ten team (Northwestern) and a BIG EAST team (DePaul) in the same season for the first time in ISU men’s basketball history.

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