September 15th, 2010

Kelly Credits Catholic Education For Success

Sarah Newell

CSN Staff Writer

Kelly Credits Catholic Education For Success
photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

SHA alum playing profesionally in the WNBA

When you ask Crystal Kelly about her success throughout her basketball career, she will credit great teamwork, coaches and the necessity of a positive attitude. 

Kelly, a Louisville native and present day forward for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars, knows about perseverance. She also credits success on the court and in the classroom to her Louisville Catholic school background.  

“As far as education goes I believe that I was more than prepared to go on to college,” said Kelly. “Being at (Sacred Heart Academy) made it such a smooth transition from one level to the next.  Even to this day, when I say that I went to SHA, people automatically know that I received a top-notch education. I feel that sports wise, I had a great experience going to a catholic school.” 

Kelly graduated from Sacred Heart Academy’s class of 2004 as that year’s “Kentucky Miss Basketball.” She also led her team to a basketball state title. Kelly went on to sign with Western Kentucky University, and during her career at Western, she broke WKU’s record for career rebounds, and landed a spot in the top NCAA 25 career scorers with over 2,600 points. During Kelly’s senior year at WKU, she led the nation with a .644 field goal percentage, earned the title of 2008 Sun Belt Player of the Year, and eventually had her jersey and number retired by the school. 

“My favorite part of playing sports at school would be the relationships that I formed in high school as well as college,” said Kelly. “I am still in contact with most of my teammates, and I’m sure that I will be forever.  I think the closeness of the teams that I have been on are the reasons that they have been as successful as they were.” 

As Kelly continues to play in the WNBA, she recognizes the positive influence sports had on her young life from grade school onward. Kelly believes that involvement in sports for kids growing up in today’s world is very important to self-confidence and time management.  

“I felt like I was a part of something special and it gave me something to look forward to each day.  Playing a sport can also act as motivation to keep grades up in school so that you can continue playing.” 

Kelly looks back to her faith to keep her grounded on a day-to-day basis. With all of her running in the fast lane, she says God stays in the center. 

Said Kelly: “I always pray before every game and during WNBA season I go to chapel before the game to give thanks to God for giving me the ability to do what I love doing.  It impacts me a lot because I know without my faith I wouldn’t be where I am today.”


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