Townsend quietly puts up big stats A champion: Kellye Townsend, a four-year varsity player, has helped Hammond to county, region and state titles the last two years.

February 04, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The pregame introductions were about to end. Glenelg's players already had been announced, and four of Hammond's starters were on the court as well. Only Kellye Townsend remained.

Suddenly, the student making the introductions announced that Hammond coach Joe Russo would make the final player introduction.

"I was surprised," said Townsend, remembering the scene before the start of Thursday's girls basketball game. "I wondered what he was doing. Then I saw him bring out the picture [of her] and the ball. I said, 'OK, so I finally got that.' "

On Monday, Townsend had gone over 1,000 career points by scoring 18 in a 57-36 win over visiting Mount Hebron.

On Wednesday, Townsend went over 1,000 rebounds by pulling down 18 in a 39-36 win over visiting Oakland Mills.

No one made a big deal of it. The games were never stopped. Townsend, in fact, never knew it happened.

"I knew it was coming up, but it really didn't matter when," said Townsend.

So in a brief, but nicely done, ceremony, Townsend learned along with the crowd of her accomplishments. Then the 5-foot-11 senior went out and scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Golden Bears' 60-38 win over Glenelg.

That is Kellye Townsend. Quiet. Unassuming. Friendly.

And not a bad player.

"She understands the game very well," said Russo. "She's very effective with either hand down low and that's really been important for her. She's got quick feet for her size and is very agile."

That's evident by watching her on tape, which is what Townsend's father, Albert, does. He and his daughter get

together and go over her games -- play by play.

"He re-winds every play not once, but three times. It's real fun watching films with him," she said, laughing.

How long does it take?

"I don't really watch the clock, but it takes time to watch every play three times," she said.

Does she learn?

"I see what I'm doing and he points it out three times. It helps," she said.

Though she can laugh about the film sessions, Townsend has nothing but respect and gratitude for her father.

"He's been my biggest influence," said Townsend, who is averaging 18 points and 15 rebounds. "He works with me and critiques my play after every game. He's like my private coach at home. He's the main reason I'm good."

During Townsend's freshman and sophomore years, Albert and Virginia Townsend would take their daughter to the local outdoor court for a little workout.

"She [her mother] was the standing defensive dummy. She's the one I worked on," Townsend said. "She pushed and hit me and everything else. But she always told me she got banged up by me, too."

With her parents' guidance and support and Townsend's desire to improve, she has become a better player each season.

"I've become a more mature player," said Townsend, a four-year varsity player who helped the Golden Bears to county, region and state titles the last two years. "I know what to do now in certain situations."

Townsend wants to help Hammond (12-4, 6-2) to another state title. And she wouldn't mind having a 30-point game.

"I really want to break 30," said Townsend. "I would have had it last year against Glenelg but I missed so many layups.

"I'm trying to build up my rebounding stats by missing and getting the rebound. That's what my teammates always say."

"We've had five Division I players come through here the last three years," said Russo, "and Kellye has the same skills. She's going to be a good college player."

She wants to attend a college out of state.

"He [her father] can't re-wind the tape over the phone," Townsend said with a laugh.

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