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March 28, 2007

Tre’ Kelley Quotes on Winning the 2007 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award

“My thoughts are after being in the group of guys that have received this award in the past, it’s just an honor to me. It definitely reflects the great season that I’ve had individually, and the great four years that I’ve had in my career as a South Carolina basketball player. I’m definitely proud of this award. It’s definitely something that I’ll be proud to go back and tell my family, my kids in the future, my friends about. It’ll be something that I’m definitely proud of.”

Did you look at some of the other guys who have won the award?
“Those are great names to come behind to get an award like this. I’ve looked up to those guys in the past. I’ve looked for different moves, different skills, different things that they do on the basketball court, and to just come behind those guys is definitely an honor.”

Is there a name that stands out on that list?
“Definitely guys like (Tim) Hardaway, (Tyrone) Bogues. Those guys are just great players that I’ve seen and watched over the past years. It’s just an honor to come behind those guys.”

Do you think this is as much about what you went through with your knee this year or just about how you played and your stats?
“I don’t think so. I’ve definitely had to overcome a lot as far as the injuries, but whether I had the injuries or not I would’ve given it 100 percent. I definitely went out there and tried to lead my basketball team as much as I could. I tried to make as many plays as I could to help my team win. So the injury did not play as much of a factor in it as people would think, but I definitely went out there and gave it my best every time.”

You are the first player from the SEC to win this award. What does that mean?
“To know all the point guards that have come through the SEC since it has been in existence, it’s definitely great. I definitely grew up watching a lot of SEC point guards and for me to be the first named for this award is definitely an honor.”

Does it surprise you that no other SEC point guard has gotten this award?
“It’s surprising. All the great names that have come through the SEC and put up big numbers and had great careers in the SEC — it’s great to have gotten this award.”

When did you hear you won?
“I heard yesterday. I was on my way to the training room to get therapy on my knee and Coach Odom and Michelle were there to inform me about the award.”

How are you recovering from surgery?
“I’m just going to therapy everyday. I’m doing what I’m told from the doctors and trainers. I’m just trying to move along everyday. (in regards to surgery) I was there for 2 and a half hours total. I walked out on crutches. I stayed on crutches probably a day and a half. It’ll be about 4 to 6 weeks before I can play again.”

Do you think of yourself as a little guy?
“I think of myself as a point guard, not a little guy. I try to make my play determine how big of a player and a person I am.”

Would you trade both awards for the NCAA Tournament?
“I think so. I definitely wanted a shot at the tournament as a starter as bad as anybody wanted. I wanted to take my team there, and if that were something I could do, I would definitely do that. Because I wanted to be a point guard who led his team to the tournament, because it’s known as the Promised Land of college basketball.”

What do you take away from these awards?
“When you come out of high school and you go to a college basketball program, you want to put in as much hard work and dedication into the game as possible. And after your four years are up, you know that however much hard work, dedication, determination you put into basketball, and what you do as a basketball player and person, you know accomplishments like this will come about. And I think that’s what happened. These awards reflect what I did on and off the court.”

USC Head Coach Dave Odom
“In my mind, it was a landslide. I’m sure there was a great deal of competition from other players throughout the country, but the Pomeroy Naismith Award panel saw things that we at South Carolina have seen for four years. That he is a terrific basketball player who has gotten better each and every year. That he has put his game up against the very best night in and night out in college basketball against the very best teams and the very best players, and rarely has come out anything except on top. To have him win that award certainly is justified. I think it’s a wonderful tribute to his commitment to basketball, and to our basketball team, and to our university. I think it’s great for the state. He’s the first winner from the state of SC. You can see that the list is long, illustrious, and now Tre’s name will go alongside many of the great ones that have played in similar fashion to him prior to that.

“I just underscore how proud we are here at the University. Our basketball team joins me in congratulating Tre’, and I’m sure that Gamecock fans everywhere are going to be as proud of him as we are.”