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You can’t cap the Cap Classic


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Published on: Thursday, April 14, 2011

By Brandy L. Simms

When DeAndre Kelly steps onto the court Sunday at the Show Place Arena in the 38th annual Capital Classic High School All-Star Game, the Rockville High School senior will be in elite company.

“It feels good to play against some of the best people in the world,” he said.

Kelly will join a select group of players from Montgomery County public school basketball programs chosen to participate in one of the area’s premier sporting events.

Over the years, the Capital Classic has provided a glimpse at the stars of tomorrow, showcasing the talents of players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul among other notables.

Since the inception of the Capital Classic in 1974, dozens of players have competed in the event.

The list of past participants from Montgomery County include Tracy Jackson (Paint Branch), Eric Smith (Churchill), Doug Turner (Seneca Valley), Charlie Thomas (Seneca Valley), Mark Karver (B-CC), Shawn Clifton (Springbrook), Kevin McClinton (Springbrook), David Vanterpool (Blair), Antoine Wills (Kennedy), Tryrian Ridges (Springbrook), Shawn Tyndell (Sherwood), Greg Rector (Quince Orchard), Jamaal Wise (Paint Branch), Michael Gruner (Whitman), Deontay Twyman (Sherwood), C.J. Garner (Springbrook) and Jamal Olasewere (Springbrook).

Kelly will make school history by becoming the first Rockville Ram player to participate in the event’s showcase game.

“It means a lot to be the first person to represent Rockville,” Kelly said.

However, he will not be the first Rockville High School player selected. Back in 1981, Brian Howard was selected to play in the Capital Classic alongside future college stars Patrick Ewing and Adrian Branch but could not compete in the game because he also played on Rockville’s baseball team and the powers-that-be would not allow him to participate in both sports.

Kelly, a four-year starter, enjoyed a remarkable senior campaign at Rockville, averaging 19 points and nine rebounds per game for the Rams. He scored in double figures in all but three games this season and registered four 30-plus point games and six 20-plus point games. He scored a season-high 33 points in a 60-53 victory over Wheaton. He also reached the 1,000 point plateau this season and finished with 1,268 points in his high school career.

Although Kelly is undecided about his future, the 6-foot-8 sharpshooter is drawing recruiting interest from various mid-major college programs including VCU, George Mason, La Salle and UMass, among others.

This weekend in Upper Marlboro, Kelly will proudly represent Montgomery County and his high school in this showcase event and said he hopes to “prove that I can play with the best and I can be the best.”

You can contact Brandy at: sports@thesentinel.com

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