PREP BASKETBALL: Hanceville’s Kelly Pickett commits to Shorter University

Hanceville point guard Kelly Pickett (23) has committed to Shorter University. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Hanceville’s play-making point guard Kelly Pickett announced Tuesday that she has committed to go play for head coach Jared Hughes and Shorter University, a Christian school, in Rome, Georgia. In her three years with the Lady Bulldogs, Pickett has won numerous awards and eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark last season and will look to continue to be a standout in her final season at Hanceville.

After looking around the campus and meeting all of the coaches and potential future teammates, Pickett knew right away that Shorter University was the place for her and even got offered something more after her playing days are over.

“When I stepped on campus, I got an amazing feeling just from the atmosphere,” Pickett said. “The campus is beautiful. It really feels like home. Everyone is great. Coach Hughes is handing me the point guard position. It was kind of hard not to turn down. They also offered me to be a graduate assistant after I get done playing. I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my life. I’d like to come back and coach at Hanceville.”

Pickett has learned a lot from the coaches that she has played for and she’s also really improved each game with the help of her coaches.

“Coach Christina Watson has really helped me become a solid player,” Pickett said. “She has pushed me on and off the court. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. My travel ball coach, Greg Harrison, has impacted my life greatly. He helped me to play through the mistakes. I owe a lot to him. He did everything he could to make sure I was seen by college coaches. Each off-season, I’ve worked extremely hard. I would like to say I have improved a lot each year.”

Pickett can’t wait to learn a lot about being at Shorter University on and off the court.

“Honestly, it’s going to help me become a better person all-around,” Pickett said. “A lot of the times, I get caught up. I forget why I am really here and that is to put Christ in the middle of everything. It’s going to help me stay focused and to not give up when things get tough.”

Her goals for the season are really simple and she can’t wait to get on the court with her teammates and start playing.

“My main goal is to become a better leader and teammate,” Pickett said. “It’s my last year at Hanceville and I want to set a good foundation for the younger kids. It would be awesome to win area and to go deep in the tournament. Playing with this team, it has pushed me to be patient. I had to learn their strengths and weaknesses so when we played, I knew what they could and couldn’t do on the court. I take basketball really seriously and they remind me that’s it supposed to be for fun. I couldn’t ask for better teammates this year. I’m really excited about this season.”

Pickett has some advice about younger players who are looking to improve their game just like she has.

“My best advice would be to work harder than your opponent.” Pickett said. “Be relentless on the court. Dive after the basketball and do the stuff nobody else wants to do.” 

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