PREP BASKETBALL: Hanceville’s Pickett signs with Shorter

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Hanceville’s Kelly Picket signs her national letter of intent to play for Shorter University at Hanceville High School Friday. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – A crowd of students, teammates, coaches and family gathered in Lane Horton Gymnasium at Hanceville High School Friday to see one of the school’s standout athletes sign to continue her playing days in college. Lady Bulldogs point guard Kelly Pickett signed her national letter of intent to play at Shorter University next season, adding another highlight to a stellar high school career.

Pickett eclipsed the 1,000 career points mark in her junior season, earned All-County honors and landed a spot on the Class 3A All-State third team. Pickett was also invited to the AHSAA’s inaugural Elite 100 Showcase in Hoover during the summer.

Pickett admits that she will miss her time at Hanceville and all of the relationships she made here but is already excited about the new obstacles and opportunities that will await here in college.  

“I’m definitely going to miss my teammates and the home crowd and my coach here is literally the best, but in college I just can’t wait to be challenged,” Pickett said. “It’s a new chapter in life, you get to meet new people, face different things and I just can’t wait to take that next step.”

When asked how her time in high school has helped prepare her to play at the next level, Kelly credited her coaches for pushing her to improve and change her perspective on the game.

“It was really the coaches here at Hanceville. We have the best coaching staff ever,” Pickett smiled. “They challenged me to look at the game in a different way than I ever thought I would.”

Lady Bulldogs head coach Christian Watson shared a few words about Pickett for the home crowd and not only praised her star point guard for her work ethic and accomplishments, but challenged the students and athletes attending the ceremony to learn from her example.

“Kelly I am super proud of you and I hope that all of your classmates have seen how hard you’ve worked over the years and how deserving of this scholarship you are. To all of you aspiring athletes, I hope you learn from Kelly,” Watson said. “It takes work and it takes dedication. She’s in here before practice, after practice day in, day out and she also gets it done in the classroom. If you need a role model, you definitely need to look at Kelly.”

Kelly then took a few moments to read a statement of her own, thanking her coaches, family, friends and teammates for helping her achieve her goals of playing college basketball. To cap off Friday’s ceremony, Pickett sent the crowd off by thanking Hanceville High School and declaring, “I will always be a Bulldog.”.

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