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St. Dominic’s Amanda Kelly leads by example

Amanda Kelly of St. Dominic poses for

Amanda Kelly of St. Dominic poses for a portrait during the 2015 Newsday Players to Watch girls' basketball photo shoot at company headquarters on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Amanda Kelly joined exclusive company at St. Dominic on Jan. 19, hitting two shots in the low post to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Family and friends joined the 6-foot senior on the court to celebrate during a 10-minute break in the Bayhawks’ game against Kellenberg. Kelly had 16 points, but the Firebirds won, 52-40.

“My whole family was there,” Kelly said. “The game stopped for about 10 minutes and we took a picture. It’s been a goal of mine since freshman year.”

Kelly is averaging 15.5 points and nine rebounds per game to lead St. Dominic (6-7, 1-5 CHSAA). She has been the team’s leading scorer the past two seasons.

Having started on varsity for four years, Kelly has gone from inexperienced freshman to the veteran difference-maker she is now. Kelly has taken on a leadership role, mentoring her younger teammates and giving them insights as to how to succeed in the CHSAA.

“On the court I just do my job,” Kelly said. “I do what I’m told to do. I do what I have to do for the team, always. I’m an example for the younger members of the team to follow.”

Coach Michele O’Brien spoke passionately about Kelly’s growth from her first season, a campaign in which she wasn’t much of a scoring threat. Kelly was adept at turning her back to the basket and working in the paint, but O’Brien’s vision for Kelly was to turn her into a polished scorer.

Kelly took the learning process in stride and practiced to get better facing the basket. She implemented a midrange game, and is now working on becoming more proficient from three-point range.

“She keeps getting better every time she steps on the court,” O’Brien said. “She’s one of the hardest workers day in and day out.”

Kelly will attend Southern New Hampshire University on a basketball and academic scholarship, O’Brien said. Among other academic exploits, Kelly ranks ninth in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“She couldn’t represent St. Dominic any better,” athletic director John Corso said. “She’s an outstanding young lady.”

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