It took Concord University all of one day to realize they wanted Carroll County basketball player Keely Lundy.
Lundy, who hit 22 3-pointers in four AAU games one September day with the Mountain Lions’ coach in attendance, took the Division II college up on its offer for a full scholarship Nov. 9 in a signing ceremony in Hillsville.
“We were in Greensboro (N.C.) at the end of September and she hit a three, then another, then another, and she just kept going,” Concord head coach Kenny Osborne said. “I had an assistant ask if she was still available and we couldn’t believe she was. She came back in October for her official visit and committed on the spot. I was worried about Wingate (who also offered Lundy a full ride). Their weather is a bit better, but her parents can get to Athens (West Virginia) in an hour and five or 10 minutes and it’s just a great fit.”
A rare four-year starter for the Cavaliers, Lundy earned First Team Conference 24 honors last season after helping guide the Cavaliers to the Conference 24 championship and appearances in the Region 4A West title game and the Group 4A State Quarterfinals. Lundy was a key component in Carroll’s 23-5 season as she led the team in field goals made (134), 3-pointers (64), 3-point percentage (34.6 percent), steals (84) and assists (4.3 per game). She also finished second for the Cavs in scoring (13.1 points per game), rebounds (5.8 per game), blocks (18), offensive rebounds (57) and defensive rebounds (105).
“I think it’s a great move. I think she will flourish there,” Carroll County head coach Marc Motley said. “She likes the area. It’s not that much different than here. I think she has a great opportunity to go in and get a lot of playing time early. She is extremely skilled, as skilled as anybody that has played here since I have been around. I think it is a great opportunity for her.”
In basketball there is hot shooting and then there is Keely Lundy-hot shooting. Simply put, when she gets going, she is virtually unstoppable. That was never more evident in the Region 4A West championship game this past winter against William Fleming. Even though the Cavaliers lost the contest 48-45, Lundy hit four of her school-record tying seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping Carroll come back from a 9-point deficit at the end of the third period.
“When she gets hot she can really make shots and I think that looms large when you get to the college level. You have point guards who can get the ball to the shooters,” Motley said. “You have to find a way to get shooters open and her release is so quick I feel like she doesn’t have to have much room to get a shot off. I think that is what they are looking at. She gathers the ball, gets her feet set, gets her shoulders square as good as anybody, boy or girl, that I’ve seen come through Carroll County. She shot the ball lights out for us the last 10 games last year, I mean as good as anybody I’ve ever seen shoot the basketball.”
While Lundy’s outside shot is evident to anyone with a set of eyes, the 5-10 senior excels in so many other areas that often go unlooked.
“She is extremely talented. You can’t watch her for five minutes and see what she does,” Motley said. “You have to watch her for an extended period of time and see how well she shoots, how well she passes it, how well she plays on the defensive end. She just understands the game.”
Lundy said signing early is a great feeling. She said the decision takes a great weight off her shoulders and is one that will allow her to focus more on her studies and her game. While she had been considering Wingate for a while, she immediately fell in love with Concord.
“I loved the atmosphere, I loved the coaching staff and I loved all the players on the team. They were so cool. I just loved Concord,” she said. “Concord came out of nowhere. It’s crazy to be an hour away and never speak to them until the last tournament of my AAU career.”
Lundy said Concord is interested in playing her at the power forward position. Another huge factor in her decision was the opportunity for ample playing time. According to Osborne, Lundy will get plenty of time on the court next season as a freshman.
“One thing she can do kids can’t do now is just shoot the basketball. She has a big frame, can play three different positions,” Osborne said. “For the money we put into it I expect her to play. I don’t give big money to a kid to sit. She can’t play 40 minutes in college because it is a more physical game, but I could see her playing 30 minutes a game. I expect her to play in big games.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN