Tre Kelley Rumors
John Lucas III isn’t the only new point guard working out with the Heat at AA Arena in recent days. Veteran point guard Tre Kelley also has been training with the Heat, according to a league source, and is a candidate for Miami’s 20th and final roster spot for training camp. Kelley, 30, went undrafted out of South Carolina in 2007 and has played in eight countries (including Italy last season) and the D-League but has never appeared in a regular-season NBA game.
At 29 years old, Kelley will not stop chasing his dream. He can’t. “It would mean everything to me as a basketball player,” Kelley said. “All the hard work I put in, all the things I’ve been through, it goes into that. It means much, much more than the game of basketball because I’ve had to overcome different obstacles just to even make it to college and get a full scholarship. Coming out of my door and seeing drugs and violence for years of my life and be able to overcome those things, have people from my neighborhood be able to see me play in the NBA, it would be monumental.”
Last season Kelley played for the Austin Toros and Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 18.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds. In six summer league games this July he posted 11.7 points, 5.2 assists and two rebounds, including a 14-point, nine-assist, four-steal finale. With high praise from coaches and front office personnel, Kelley was one of the first chosen when the D-League Select team was assembled. Summer league head coach Conner Henry saw the fire that has been driving Kelley for years and gave him the keys to lead the floor. “He’s a complete pro and it’s been a joy for me to coach him because I never felt like anything I was giving him was too hard for him to execute. I felt very comfortable with him running the team,” said Henry. “He’s done everything— he’s worked hard, he’s communicated with me on everything … He’s represented himself here perfectly. Now he’s going to have opportunities for that.”
Since then he has mourned the death of both parents (his father passed away last year from heart issues), relatives and friends. He has also overcome devastating adversity to become a focused and driven professional who refuses to stop short of his ultimate goal. The sleepless nights have become part of the norm for him. But as the numbers change on the clock, maybe each passing minute will be one closer to him achieving his dream. “I’m a fighter, I’m a courageous guy,” Kelley said. “There’s no situation that I can give up in. … Some people at 29 have given up on their NBA goals, but not me. I just can’t do that. I just can’t do that.”
While it hasn’t been made official yet, DleagueDigest.com has learned that Josh Akognon, Tre Kelley, and Reggie Williams are expected to play for the NBA D-League Select Team in Las Vegas according to sources.