Quitman retires former professional basketball player, Kelly McCarty’s, jersey
QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Quitman Panthers had the honors of retiring former Panthers basketball player and former professional basketball player, Kelly McCarty’s jersey Friday night.
McCarty played for Quitman from 1990-1994. After he finished his successful career at Quitman he went on to play at Southern Miss where he is now a member of their Hall of Fame. In 1998 McCarty headed to Denver and was with the Nuggets for two years as an undrafted free agent. He then spent time in Israel and Russia playing over seas. While playing overseas he became a ULEB Cup Champion and was named FIBA Eurocup Champion and MVP in 2005.
Since McCarty stepped off the court he now holds the title of dad, husband and even coach. He trains young athletes at his UWIN training facility in Huntsville, Alabama. Being back at his alma mater for this jersey retirement is something McCarty will never forget.
“My reason for playing basketball in high school was not to have my jersey retired,” said McCarty. “It was just- I loved the game and to have an opportunity to play the game passed high school, passed college, that was a blessing.”
Not only was McCarty able to be back in the Panther’s gym but his high school coach, Sammy Smith, and his coach at Southern Miss, James Green (who now coaches at MCC), were also in attendance for the special night.
Smith said, “He was coachable. I mean he played the first minute like the last minute. He played hard all the time. He played too hard.”
“The person that he is, you can understand why he had so much success on the court,” said coach Green. “And you know if you take care of your business off the floor, normally you can take care of it on the floor and he is a guy that’s always done that.”
McCarty is one of few to have his jersey retired at Quitman High School.
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