This week marks the start of practice for the upcoming high school basketball season, but one Quince Orchard letterman has already made plans for next year and beyond. Senior guard Matthew Kelly has signed a letter of intent to accept a full basketball scholarship at Assumption College, a small, NCAA Division II school in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“It’s exciting,” said Kelly, “to finally make a decision and be done with the whole college process.”
Kelly, a 5’10” guard, was QO’s second leading scorer last year averaging 14.6 points per game. He expects to play point guard for Assumption, which competes in the Northeast 10 Conference, primarily composed of other New England schools.
“The coaches said a few of their seniors will be leaving next year, so I’ll have a good chance of earning some playing time my freshman year,” Kelly said. He said he liked the feel of the 2,500-student campus, which is located in a small city west of Boston with several other colleges, including Holy Cross University. “I liked the smaller campus, and didn’t want to go to a huge school.”
“Matt Kelly is a symbol of what real hard work can do,” said QO head coach Paul Foringer. “He has spent countless hours in the weight room and in the gym. He is the best shooter I’ve ever coached. That spans 40 years. … He is a great role model for young kids.”
Kelly is not the only returning QO basketball player with college prospects. Fellow senior Johnny Fierstein has received an offer from Shepard University and is waiting to see what else develops with other Division II schools that have shown interest, including some in the same conference as Assumption. In addition, several other QO players are drawing interest from Division III schools.
The Cougars return three starters from last year’s 20-3 team, including leading scorer Fierstein (18.1 points per game). Kelly and three other players will be in their third year of varsity play, while Fierstein is in his fourth.
With all that experience and talent, “we should be really good this year,” Kelly said.