From the beginning of Kevin Capers' journey, he has been overlooked. Coming out of Florida, he was not one of the top guards. That honor belonged to Austin Rivers and Shane Larkin. The guard wasn't given much of an opportunity to shine. But when he was eventually given that chance, he took advantage of that.
In the state of Florida, Kevin Capers is not only known as a resident of the state, but he is a product of Florida Southern College. Many associate Florida with the University of Florida and Florida State, but Florida Southern had success during the 2014-15 season. The Division II school added a National Championship to its trophy collection.
While at Florida Southern, Capers spent his first three seasons coming off the bench. Capers excelled in his senior season. In his final season, he guided Florida Southern to a Division II National Championship. In the day leading up to the championship game, the guard was battling an illness. Kevin Capers went on to score 24 points in the championship game and was named the tournament MVP. In his senior season, he averaged 21.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.3 steals per game, while shooting forty-six percent from the field.
Winning a championship is one thing, but winning a championship in your home state is something special. "It felt great," Capers told RidiculousUpside.com. "I went to school pretty much in my home town. It was great to finally bring another national title to our county." Along with capturing a National Championship and tournament MVP, the 6'2" guard was named to the First-Team All America Team in the Sunshine State Conference.
The guard not only put up impressive numbers in his senior season, but also led the team towards a Division II National Championship. During his collegiate years, Capers showed his athleticism and his ability to score. When he was given the opportunity, he shined. Playing for the Westchester Knicks, there are a few guards ahead of him on the roster -- Jimmer Fredette, Travis Trice and Jordon Crawford. When he was given the opportunity to show what he could do, he capitalized on that. "I'm used to coming off the bench," Capers said. "I've been doing it all my life (AAU), so I feel like feel like if I got the opportunity I could do that."
The former Florida Southern product has his challenges ahead of him. Division II play is significantly different from Division I and the D-League. While Capers is adjusting to the professional level, there are some parts of his game he is trying to improve on. "Out of college, I was a full-court or fast-paced guy," he said. "Then you come to the the Knicks, you have a half-court system with the triangle. So its defiantly helping me out becoming a more diverse player instead of just up and down half court sets."
Back in December of 2015, the Knicks' guard had a productive game against the Grand Rapids Drive. Kevin Capers scored 24 points, while shooting six of ten from the field, in 13 minutes of action.
Although Westchester did not pick up the win against Grand Rapids, Capers showed his ability to score. The Knicks are heading into a potential playoff run and need all the offense they can get, and Capers could potentially give the team some offense off the bench. "I got a lot of great guys in front of me, but I feel like put my fair share of effort in practice, so I think I can do it," Capers said.
Much like his first three seasons at Florida Southern, Capers is seeing limited minutes in his rookie season in the D-League. He was given the opportunity to shine during his senior season and he excelled. In the limited minutes Capers has appeared in, showed his ability to score. The Knicks are heading into a playoff run and the team needs all the offense they can get.
While the Westchester Knicks are in the process of closing out the season, and securing the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, Kevin Capers has the confidence that the team "should win it all."