The past and present Nottingham 3-point kings got to meet on Thursday, Feb. 15, when Pete Kelly (right) attended the Stars MCT game with Princeton in hopes of seeing Richie Jones break his single-season record of 77 threes in a season. Jones finally did it in tonight’s win over Ewing, earning praise from Kelly (Photo by Brandon “Paparazzi” Johnson)
By Rich Fisher
Feb. 20:Pete Kelly came back to his alma mater last Thursday in hopes of seeing his record fall.
It didn’t happen then, nor did it happen in the next game.
But tonight, Richie Jones dropped a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game with 3:17 left in the first quarter to become Nottingham High’s season record-holder for threes in one season. Kelly set the mark of 77 in 2008, which Jones tied with two in Saturday’s Mercer County Tournament win over Notre Dame Saturday.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” Jones said after tonight’s MCT semifinal win over Ewing. “I’ve been working at it, last year I could have had it but I wasn’t shooting enough. This year I was glad I could get it.”
The brother of Nottingham head girls’ basketball coach Lauren Adams, Kelly was in hopes of congratulating Jones in person last week since he couldn’t be at the last two games. Instead, he settled for texting some comments to Fish4scores.
“I’ve seen Richie play 5-6 times the past two seasons and I’ve been impressed with the way he lets the game come to him,” Kelly said. “Especially watching him Thursday night (against Princeton). He had 30 points and for a kid closing in on 1,000 points and chasing a record he doesn’t force anything and is still very unselfish, passing up open looks for a better shot for a teammate. I think that says a lot about Richie both on and off the court.”
Kelly texted after playing in his own recreation league game in Hoboken, and said, “I had a couple tonight, can I add them to my mark?”
He may want to, as Jones is zeroing in on another one of his records. The senior guard needs six 3-pointers to break Kelly’s career mark of 185.
“Records are meant to be broken and having it for 10 years was great,” Kelly said. “From what I’ve seen, if it’s going to happen I’d prefer it to be by a player like Richie. I’ve heard he is a gym rat always working at his craft, I wish him and Nottingham continued success.”
Jones was impressed that Kelly made the effort to be there in person in hopes of seeing a new record-holder anointed.
“That meant a lot,” he said. “I got to see someone who did it before me and I got to meet him in person.”