Deja Kelly, a 7th grade, 5-foot-8 point guard, just verbally committed to accept a scholarship to play basketball for the University of Texas in 2020.
Think about it: What were you thinking about in seventh grade? I could expand upon that, but I’ll leave it to your imagination. Next thought: think of how far away 2020 actually is. Not only will we have a new president, but he will already be running for re-election that year. Kelly will be committed to a college for two more years than she will actually attend that said University.
Before she was in grade school (kindergarden), she was already the best player on her school’s fifth grade team.
Kelly, a Texas native who resides in San Antonio, currently attends Luna Middle School. She told the San Antonio Express why she immediately knew that Texas was her dream school and to avoid the normal recruiting process.
““It was my dream school, because my dad went there,” Kelly said.
Her father, Darren Kelly was a member of the Longhorns men’s team from 1999 to 2001 – two seasons.
Darren made his way to Texas by way of Loyola Maryland, where he spent one season. He then transferred to JUCO Brown Mackie College in Kansas as a sophomore, before finishing out two years of his remaining eligibility as a Longhorn. As a senior, he lead the team in assists and finished second in scoring, and also earned a spot on the All Big 12 third team. He flirted with NBA teams for a stint, but never caught on.
Gentleman’s bet: his daughter is going to be a high pick in the 2024 WNBA draft. Sorry, now I’m getting a case of the “ahead of ourselves.”
The whole situation brings up a completely different argument whether or not 13 years of age is too young for college coaches to start hawking down student-athletes – we’ve all heard the stories. I suppose that’s for another time. All that can be said here is a congratulations to Deja Kelly and her hard work and hope that it continues over the years despite her already being locked in to Texas.
Oh, and if you want to see what all the hype is about, here is a brief clip of Kelly. She truly looks like a woman amongst girls on the floor:
*Section Photo credit to South Texas Hoyas; Featured Photo (above) credit to Theresa Nunn, ESPN