Jim Rosa @jimrosa519
In 2013 Kelly Hughes had gone into her senior season at Point Pleasant Borough high School. After winning multiple State sectional titles, it was announced on signing day that she would continue her career at Boston College. This was a big day for the Shore Conference as its leading scorer not only made the decision to play at a division one university, but to take her talents from the Shore to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
It can be argued by many who follow the game of basketball at the collegiate level that the ACC is no doubt the hardest conference a player can choose to continue their playing career. When asked about choosing the Atlantic Coast Conference, Hughes acknowledged that it was the drive to go to a “great school” that offered her both the best academic setting along with the opportunity to take her game to the next level.
In her freshman year at Boston College, Kelly Hughes picked up right where she left off at Point Boro. From the Shore Conference to now the ACC, it was now proven that the shot from behind the arc was her ultimate weapon in college as well as high school.
In her senior season as a Panther, she was able to pass United States great and former Point Pleasant Borough basketball and soccer star Christie Rampone for most points scored in school history with 2,190. In just over a month from that point, it was Hughes that would accumulate 2,588 points. From that point on she would stand as the shore conference’s all-time leading scorer.
When asked about her decision to come to Point Pleasant Borough, Hughes made it known that it was not completely a “definite decision” at first. She added ” I had many options in mind, I could have gone to Red Bank Catholic or Saint John Vianney.” “Even RFH was a possible choice”. “However, I decided to stay home and play in front of my family and friends.”
In her freshman year at Boston College, Kelly Hughes picked up right where she left off at Point Pleasant Borough. From the Shore Conference to now the ACC, it was now proven that the shot from behind the arc was her ultimate weapon in college as well as high school.
Hughes is now going into her junior year at Boston College. Now as an upperclassman she knows what it will take for her team to develop into a premium contender in the Conference. ” We will have two weeks of practice before we prepare a trip to Italy” Hughes said.
She and her team have tried to make the best of the summer and this opportunity is one that really pushes them during the summer to achieve that ultimate goal, a birth and deep run in the ACC tournament. “We have had a lot of young players around here, they all see the banners that hang from the gym that represent the different teams and their accomplishments” Hughes said when asked of what she hears from the younger players around the team.
In addition, Hughes stresses the desire that this group takes in an NCAA tournament birth. ” We tell each other all the time we want to make the NCAA tournament.” This is something that they all feel is a realistic goal for the program as a whole with Hughes being such a vital part of this team.
Going from a conference that can be argued as the best High school conference in the north east to that of the ACC is a great milestone. Hughes acknowledged that she was happy to stay at Point Borough all along. Little did she know as an eighth grader that she would be one of the most successful basketball players in all of Point Pleasant Borough History.
As for her freshman season in college, her impressive touch on shots from beyond the arc remained constant as she was able to knock down seventy-four threes before the conclusion of the season. This proved to be yet another record that she would be able to add to her collection throughout her basketball career. This is much like her days in high school where people wondered ” hey, how is that girl able to make some of those shots” ?
However, With the addition of college trainers and coaches, Hughes feels there is much needed room for improvement. ” “My jump shot is an area that I need to work on”, she adds. When asked about the many roles that she can take on the floor she acknowledged how she can work more from the point in facilitating the offense. ” Rebounding has been big for me” Kelly exclaimed as she reflected on her first two years at BC . Of course in any level of basketball one can say that rebounding wins championships. Building muscle and having the size to go out there and battle a program like Notre Dame is the key for success in a powerful conference such as the ACC.
Even through Hughes may not be the biggest on the court there are many bright points outside of physicality that attribute to her success as a Division one player. When asked about her leadership Hughes said ” it is something that is important throughout the season.” She also added, ” mentally I just try to focus on the game that is at hand and try not to let anything get to me such as a call on the floor”. In fact her leadership can be recognized as the main reason she was able to start games as early as her freshman season.
In addition, she is aware of how important it was to get many minutes so early in her career. ” there are a lot of young players in this conference, it is a big role to fill now, getting the opportunity.” Furthermore, she sights the leaving of Jewel Loyd as proof that ” anything can happen” in the ACC and that you always need to be prepared. Hughes will get many minutes this season as a starter for the Eagles as they open up their schedule in November.
Overall for the 2014-2015 season she started in 28 of 29 games played. Of those games played she averaged 33 minutes and posted an overall .393 field goal percentage. This was good for a team 6th best. However, a .388 three point shooting percentage and a .836 Free throw percentage lead the team last year. This is something that Kelly Hughes will continue to improve upon as she finishes up her career at Boston College.