CHS standout Kelly joins 1,000 Point Club
For the Concordia High School Orioles boys basketball team, Feb. 12 was an exciting day, as they had been snowed out of their previous four games and had gone a whopping 10 days in between games before finally getting a crack at I-70 Conference opponent Orrick High School. But for Cameron Kelly, it was also the day he was expected to score his much-anticipated 1,000th point — with an emphasis on ‘anticipated.’
Despite improving his free throw shooting drastically in his senior year, Kelly would — ironically — miss a free throw late in a blowout win over I-70 Conference rival Sweet Springs High School, meaning he would finish the night with 999 career points.
Early in the game against Orrick, however, Kelly was finally able to add that fourth column to his career scoring total, joining the 1,000 Point Club on a basket in transition off of an assist from fellow club member Matthew Gatewood.
Orioles head basketball coach Brent Cooper had this to say about Kelly:
“Cameron has been a four-year starter for the Orioles. It is not often that a small high school coach gets the opportunity to have an athlete like Cameron on the floor, especially for the last three years that I have coached him. He played for Coach Hon his ninth- grade year,” Cooper said. “He has definitely been a tough matchup for the other teams to contend with because of his athleticism. He has seldom lost a tip to start the game or an overtime period, which is obviously a huge advantage. He has made some amazing plays, including dunks and defensive blocks over his career, which helps make our team even more exciting to watch. He has also come a long way as a player – he struggled with shooting free throws and staying out of foul trouble his first few years, but he has improved immensely in both areas as well as many others to make himself a more complete player.”
Kelly, who has proven himself both on and off of the court, also drew praise from Cooper on the man that he is becoming.
“Besides his improvement in basketball and his many accomplishments in athletics, I think I am the most proud of his improvement academically,” Cooper said. “Cameron has raised his G.P.A. over his high school career almost a full point, which is quite an accomplishment on a 4.0 scale. Cameron attends vo-tech school at Lex-La-Ray in the afternoons and, according to their staff, he is a terrific student and one of their top welders with much career potential. It has been enjoyable to watch Cameron grow athletically and academically, I wish him all the best in his future and hopefully a long playoff run in basketball.”
With the basket, Kelly became the 19th Oriole to join the 1,000 Point Club. It also moves him into 19th on the CHS career scoring list, although an extended playoff run could see the dynamic post player move up as high as 16th on the list.
The Concordian would also like to extend our kudos to Cameron, as it has been a tremendous joy and honor to watch him compete on the gridiron, hardwood and baseball diamond.