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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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Maryland Innovation Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD 21046
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Trea, smiling, wearing his Howard PRIDE polo on campus.
Howard P.R.I.D.E. definitely helped me focus and get the best grades I can.
After a stellar high school basketball career, Trea showed no signs of slowing down.

Trea Keys enjoyed a stellar basketball career at Wilde Lake High School, including three selections to the All-County first team and being named Howard County Player of the Year as a sophomore.

After attending Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, he transferred to Howard Community College to study business and join the men’s basketball team. Trea recently answered a few questions about his journey:


What led you back to this area and to HCC?

A lot of my friends already played on the team and I knew it was good. I’ve known coach (Mike) Smelkinson for a few years now and I was already comfortable with the coaching staff. I saw this as a second chance to play college basketball and get a great education. Also, the fact that it’s close to me, I wouldn’t be losing out on anything. I saw it as the ideal spot.

What were your first impressions when you arrived?

Actually all of the basketball players are in Howard P.R.I.D.E. and they were going to meet with (associate director) Shawn Lamb. That really got the ball rolling and I’ve been rolling with them since. Anything we need, they’re right there to help us. Tutoring, mentorship, food vouchers, tuition payments, paying for books … you really don’t want for anything. It’s definitely helped me focus and get the best grades I can.

How would you rate your experience since transferring?

I’ve definitely gained a lot of knowledge and I’m more prepared to transfer to another four-year school. I’ve built a lot of lifelong connections at HCC and expanded my network. And I’m on track for two degrees – one in accounting and one in business administration - that are going to help me in the long run.

How did your previous studies fit in at HCC?

My major at Johnson C. Smith was accounting and I was talking a lot of general studies classes, like English and math courses. When I transferred here, I just finished those credits and got more into accounting classes and business classes.

What else have you learned here?

HCC has helped me realize the different avenues besides just working in an office. The classes show you how to run your own business and do the numbers. I feel like I’m getting more of a handle to branch out and become a CPA or an entrepreneur. I’ve definitely realized I want to work for myself in some type of business, which I’m figuring out at the moment.

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