Kobe made me the player I am today – Kellier
In celebrating the next phase of his sporting journey, national basketball player Jordan Kellier talked about the impact that the late Kobe Bryant had in changing his game to get to the next level.
The 21-year-old Kellier recently announced his commitment to NCAA division one school, the University of Utah, on Monday.
The team plays in one of the top conferences in the United States, the PAC 12 Conference. Kellier played for Calabar High School and was offered an opportunity to attend Redemption Christian Academy (RCA) in New York after fifth form. He originally played the centre position but realised he had to adjust his game as there were seven-foot players playing his position.
"There was no way shape or form I was going to play centre at [six feet six inches]. So I had no other choice but to change my game and to change my role," Kellier told STAR Sports.
He drew on the technical aspects of his favourite player, five-time NBA champion and hall of famer Kobe Bryan,t and credits him with his ability to transition into his new role as a wing player.
Tried my best
"I study him a lot and emulated him. Whatever he did, I did. He played shooting guard, which is basically a wing position, [and] I tried my best to be like him," he said. "I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing but I try always to be like him, so that kind of helped in changing my game from being a centre to a wing player just because of how much I wanted to be like Kobe Bryant."
After he left RCA he spent his first collegiate season at Williston State College in North Dakota, where he started 19 of 21 games, registering five double doubles and scoring 20 plus points in 10 games.
His performances from his new position has earned him praise from his new head coach, Larry Krystkowiak.
"We are very excited to have Jordan join our Ute family," Krystkowiak said on the team's website. "He is a terrific young man that will give us a lot of versatility at the wing with a strong motor. He is a tireless worker who continues to improve each year. In addition, his tremendous character will fit in nicely with out team."
Kellier will be among the Jamaicans playing at the division one level, joining Kofi Cockburn, Warren Williams and recently Lawrence Foreman, who will also start this fall.