Brahman senior signs to play college basketball

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee High School senior Malcolm Kelly has signed on to continue his education and continue playing basketball at Ellsworth Community College located in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Okeechobee senior Malcolm Kelly celebrates following the Brahmans’ defeat of Belen Jesuit in the regional quarterfinal.

Malcolm was part of a Brahman basketball team that tore their way through the 5A region this year. Okeechobee went 26-3 in Kelly’s senior season, including going on 13-game win streaks, twice.

Okeechobee won their district championship for the second year in a row and won their first regional playoff game since 1986.

During that win against Belen Jesuit, Kelly led the team with 17 points.

Belen Jesuit had actually taken a one-point lead over Okeechobee into halftime of that regional quarterfinal.

But that lead was short-lived, as Kelly and the Okeechobee offense outscored the Wolverines 20-10 in the third quarter. Kelly had a team-leading four steals against Belen Jesuit and tied for total rebounds. He was also a clutch performer in getting the ball to his teammates in the second half. He led the team in assists with eight. Kelly opened the third quarter with a clutch three-pointer that silenced the big Belen Jesuit crowd of fans who’d made the trip to Okeechobee. He closed the quarter with a fade-away jumper near the baseline give Okeechobee a 41-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Brahmans would go on to win 54-38.

Okeechobee was able to get within one game of the state semifinal before they fell in the regional final to Pembroke Pines.

Malcolm has been a leader on and off the court for the Brahmans all year. But what might be the strength of Okeechobee this year is there wasn’t just a single star player for opposing teams to focus on. Kelly and his brothers Mikal and Markeze had been solid for the Brahmans throughout the year. But fellow seniors De’nitrik Whittaker and Silas Madrigal have also been clutch performers for Okeechobee all season. And junior Alessio Dehart has made his presence known as a center on the court.

Malcolm scored 300 points for the Brahmans this year, second only on the team to Silas Madrigal. Overall, Okeechobee had four of the top 10 scorers in their district this year.

Malcolm Kelly led the team in free throws made with 100 this season. He also led in total rebounds with 159, assists with 160 and steals with 90.

The amazing run the Brahmans went on this year earned their coach accolades as well. Head coach Demetre Riles was named the Florida Athletic Coaches Association’s 5A Coach of the Year back in early March.

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