Crystal Kelly City's Best in 2003-04

6'3 Crystal Kelly from Sacred Heart gets the nod from Inside TheVille as Metro Louisville's 2003-04 preseason Player of the Year.

6'3 Crystal Kelly from Louisville Sacred Heart is a special talent and it's for that reason she's been selected the 2003-04 Inside TheVille preseason Metro Louisville Player of the Year.

During her three seasons at Sacred Heart, Kelly has led the Valkyries to two state championships, three Louisville Invitational Tournament titles and is widely considered one of the nation's top prospects entering the season after averaging 18.1 points, and 10 rebounds as a junior. Kelly also blocked 110 shots. She also led the Valkyries to a 37-3 record during the summer.

Kelly, named the MVP of the state tournament last season, scored 70 points during the tournament's four games and lead Sacred Heart to a 42-40 title victory over Lexington Catholic.

So what makes Crystal Kelly so special?

"Just her personality," Sacred Heart head coach Donna Moir said. "She's fun to be around, works really hard and is very unslefish."

A versatile talent, Kelly can play any number of positions of the floor and is already the school's all-time leader in rebounds with 1,123. She'll play every position on the floor for Moir this season but projects as a combo forward at the next level.

The 2003 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year is narrowing her list and Louisville, Western Kentucky, Kentucky and Vanderbilt are all still involved. She's visited U of L, UK and Vandy and will make an official visit to WKU this weekend.

"She's probably down to the three big in-state schools," Moir said. "She goes back and forth about [signing in November]."

With new coaches at both U of L and UK, Moir indicated that Kelly may prefer to take in the styles of play and practice at both schools during the season before making her decision.

"She's very close with both her mother and father," Moir said. "And they'd probably like to see her stay close to home like most parents."

A local prospect whose impact at the next level could be comparable to that of current U of L freshman Michael Bush, Kelly is certainly a major priority for first year U of L head coach Tom Collen as he works to establish the Lady Cadinals as a Big East and national power in the next few years.

"She's taken her game to another level now," Moir said. "She's by far the best player I've ever coached. She'll have a big impact in college because of her size and strength."

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