Kelly Off to Good Start at American Christian

Future Blue Demon Jeremiah Kelly left behind Chicago-style pizza for the cheesesteaks of Philadelphia when he decided to attend American Christian school in Aston, Pennsylvania. In this report, we talk with Kelly's coach to see how he's doing at his new school and check in with his future coach Jerry Wainwright…

With the closure of Boys to Men Math and English Academy in Chicago, future DePaul Blue Demon Jeremiah Kelly decided to transfer to American Christian for his senior year of high school. The 6-1 guard is fitting into his new surroundings and getting acclimated. "Jeremiah is doing pretty well," said American Christian coach Tony Bergeron.

Kelly played with American Christian at the National Prep Showcase in Lowell, Massachusetts on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Jeremiah shot seven of 11 from the field and tallied 15 points in a 89-85 win over Winchendon Prep. He followed that up with a 22 point performance on Sunday with 17 points in the second half in a 99-67 win over Northfield Mount Hermon.

Kelly and backcourt mate Tyreke Evans teamed up for 48 points in the Winchendon game. Bergeron likes the versatility that Kelly has brought to his team. "We've got him playing some point for us, he plays off the ball for us too just because he's such a good shooter," said Bergeron. "He's poised, he doesn't make a lot of mistakes."

On the other side of the ball, Kelly is adjusting to defending east coast guards. "We're working with him on his defense," Tony said. "He's working on his defense and is certainly doing much better with that. He does a good job of containing guards, now we're just trying to get him to attack more and come up with more tipped passes."

DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright likes guards who demonstrated leadership at the high school level. "I try to recruit guys who played the point in high school," said Wainwright. "I think the more ballhandlers that you have in the game, the better."

"Jeremiah is a guy who can really shoot and handle the ball," Wainwright observed. "He's a hard-nosed combo guard who grew up on the playgrounds of Chicago. He loves DePaul and is a very vocal leader. I think he'll be a great addition. With losing Cliff (Clinkscales), Jeremiah will be a great step-in guy."

While Kelly has been versatile and flexible enough to play multiple guard spots, Bergeron knows where his future lies. "No question he's a point guard," Tony remarked. "He can run an offense without an issue. If they double on bigs, he's going to make them pay, because he can make that three point shot without issue. His natural position is point. I start all four (guards). They do a nice job of sharing the ball. He plays a little bit of everything, but in college he'll be a point guard."

Next season Kelly will be adjusting from east coast preps to college ball in the Big East. "He'll be fine," Bergeron shared. "Talent-wise and with knowledge of the game, nobody will be ahead of him. He could use a couple extra pounds and get a little stronger. Being out here with us is certainly going to help. East coast basketball is going to help him with that."

Bergeron feels that Kelly will bring a good basketball IQ with him to DePaul. "His greatest strength is his knowledge of the game."

So what guard is Jeremiah Kelly reminiscent of? "Among the pros, maybe like a Joe Dumars," Bergeron said. "With the ability to play both guard positions. Not quite as great defensively, but just solid all-around with no big gaps." subscribers can view videos of Jeremiah Kelly in action in the following stories…

Jeremiah Kelly with the Mac Irvin Fire

Jeremiah Kelly with Boys to Men Academy

And you can see Kelly throwing a length of the court pass to current Blue Demon Mac Koshwal in this video…

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