COLUMBIA — The Celtics' Jarvis Jennings ran off the court with his team Sunday night at the Show-Me State Games basketball competition at the MU Recreational Center.
His coach formed a huddle, and the players were ecstatic because the Columbia team had just won the championship of the event's fifth-grade division with a 32-31 victory over the St. Louis Storm from Chesterfield.
Cedric Kelly has been coaching the Celtics for four years. His son, Kai Tumulty plays basketball at Midwest Sports Academy, and when the organization asked him to coach the team, Kelly was happy to take the job.
“They really stepped up this year. I’m really proud of them,” Kelly said. “I think the 3-pointer in the corner by Jarvis is was what got us the win. We were down by four and he brought us up.”
Despite playing in the fifth-grade division, four of the seven boys on the Celtics team are fourth graders. Isiaih Mosley, Darin Smalls, Jaelin Grant, Tamar Sheard and Jameric Pittman fill out the roster.
They all play for fun but they are competitive, according to their mothers, who took pictures of the team and congratulated them on their win.
The Celtics also won games against the Springfield S.T.A.R.S. and Rain Makers Christian from Joplin in the single-elimination tournament.
“Coaching has been great," Kelly said. "If I didn’t like it, I don’t think I could do it. I’m going to keep coaching as long as these guys want me too."