South Cobb will host the John Kelly Holiday Classic on Friday and Saturday with eight schools participating.
The event will feature the boys teams of Luella, Northeast Macon, Hiram, North Clayton, Mundy’s Mill, Drew, Osborne and South Cobb. There will also be one girls game between neighboring rivals Osborne and South Cobb — a tribute to the years Kelly spent working as an assistant to the Lady Eagles basketball team.
South Cobb boys coach Gregory Moultrie said he put the event together over the summer with plans for it to simply be a holiday classic. But after Kelly’s death, it only seemed fitting to hold the event in his honor.
“With the circumstances, we wanted to honor coach Kelly and name it after him,” Moultrie said. “So it’s the John Kelly Holiday Classic in honor of a great coach and man.”
Kelly, who was also a longtime member of the Cobb County Fire Department, served South Cobb in various coaching capacities for more than 15 years. He worked with players in the middle school program, the girls varsity program and was the associate boys basketball coach at the time of his death.
“He was involved with South Cobb basketball from the junior league all the way to varsity basketball,” Moultrie said.
On Friday, Luella will face Northeast Macon at 4 p.m., followed by Hiram-Osborne at 6 p.m. and North Clayton-Mundy’s Mill at 8 p.m.
Saturday’s games will begin at noon with Mundy’s Mill- Northeast Macon, followed by Luella-North Clayton (2 p.m.) and Drew-Hiram (4 p.m.) before the event wraps up with girls and boys games between Osborne and South Cobb at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.
A ceremony to honor Kelly will be held between the two Osborne-South Cobb games, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.
It is also alumni night for South Cobb.
“It should be a great basketball atmosphere,” Moultrie said, speaking to the quality of teams participating.
Drew and North Clayton were state semifinalists a year ago, while Luella boasts a trio of future Division I players.
“It should be some pretty good games, and some great coaching,” Moultrie said. “We just wanted to make sure we had a great two days of basketball to be played.”