Kelley gaining college interest

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2018

Pleasant Home senior Austin Kelley is gaining interest from college coaches after recently competing in the Rising Star Showcase in Panama City.

“It was a showcase where you go in front college coaches or scouts,” Kelley said. “The scouts help promote you through social media and things like that. We played 5-on-5 and they evaluated and filmed us.”

During the showcase, Kelley felt he performed well.

“I felt like I played well,” Kelley said. “I played two games in the showcase. I played hard and made some good plays against good competition.”

Kelley said he strives to be the best player he can be all the time.

“I just have a love and passion for the game,” Kelley said on what drives him to be the best. “Since first grade, my dream and ambition has been to play college basketball. Basketball was my first love and I do whatever I can to put myself in the best position.”

Besides being a standout basketball player, Kelley is an outstanding student. Kelley recently scored a 30 on the ACT.

“College coaches like to see that,” Kelley said. “I’ve been contacted by schools just from my ACT score. The coaches haven’t even seen me play, but they are interested in me because of my academics. Academics always comes first, but athletics are a close second.”

As of now, Kelley said he has been talking to several colleges.

“I’ve been talking to several different schools,” Kelley said. “Most have been DIII and DII schools, but I’ve been talking to a few DI schools about walking on. I’ve had a few contact me after they saw me on social media after the showcase.”

Kelley is preparing to begin his senior basketball season and hopes for a successful year.

“This year we have a new team and a new coach,” Kelley said. “I think we are going to surprise a lot of people. I expect us to do well. We’ve been preparing a lot this summer. It’s not about individual things for me. I just want us to do good as a team and anything else will fall in line. Basketball has taught me that things aren’t always going to go like you think. Obstacles are going to come up. You have to bounce back and be ready for the next play or whatever it may be.”

Kelley’s mother, Sarah Smith Kelley, played college basketball at the University of Alabama, and his father, Jason Kelley, played at Faulkner.