Kelly addresses rumors

The rumors first surfaced a few months ago, and over the course of the high school season the became progressively louder. Would Curtis Kelly defect from Rice High School to Oak Hill Academy? Was he preparing to make the jump to the league after his senior season?

There has been lots of speculation on both topics. On Tuesday, we caught up with Kelly at the Wheelchair Classic at Christ the King High School in Queens, and the ever-candid junior forward gave us his thoughts on these subjects and others.

First, he clarified the Oak Hill rumor. "I thought about going to Oak Hill, but I'm not going to go," said Kelly. "Rice is the best place for me (to reach my potential). If I left, I would have felt like a failure. I really want a (state championship) ring, man. Besides, they don't need to down there. They've got plenty of players."

Curtis also addressed the rumblings about the draft. "The NBA's going to be there," said Kelly. "There's no rush. When I'm a top 10 pick, I'll go.

"I'm not feeling any pressure at all. I want to provide for my family- that's the only pressure I feel. Guys are just telling you to go (to the draft) so they can get their cut. It's a decision for me and my family to make."

The spindly, 6-foot-9, 200 pounder has received attention from some of the country's top college programs. Possessing exceptional length and eye-catching athleticism, many coaches are enamored of Kelly's potential.

Many of the major conferences are represented in his early list. "Georgia Tech, Texas, North Carolina, South Florida, UConn, Syracuse," said Kelly. "I've got to give a shout out to Manhattan..St. John''s a long list." Kelly still hasn't put a lot of serious consideration into his list and when he'll whittle things down.

"Sometime next year," said Kelly. "Early next year, I'll think about it. And then late next year I'll make a final decision."

Kelly and the Gauchos will hit the Boo Williams Tournament in Virginia this weekend, followed by trips to Las Vegas and to Dallas for the Next Level National Tournament. The 'Chos will participate in the top Nike Events this summer, including the Peach Jam.

Curtis is also teaming up with Derrick Caracter on the New York Panthers in the IS8 League in South Jamaica, Queens, this month.

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