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October 7, 2012

Half-century of helping

After 50 years, Kelley steps down as coach at Boys and Girls Club

(Continued)

Robert Rooseboom of Atkinson, N.H., has known Kelley since 1960 when they were students at Central Catholic and Merrimack College.

“He was always happy, optimistic, always up for a challenge, and could always laugh at himself,” said Rooseboom, who has been teaching at Central Catholic for 45 years.

He has a heap of stories to tell about Kelley, whom he sees often when Kelley goes to Central to check on students or attend basketball games.

While at Merrimack, Kelley and Rooseboom were in the intramural basketball team. During one game, Rooseboom blocked Kelley’s hook shot and up to this day has not let him forget it.

Another story Rooseboom enjoys telling is when he made 40 copies of Kelley’s yearbook picture and had a student posted them throughout the club.

“Once you meet Steve and talk to him for a few minutes, it’s like you’ve known him for 20 years. He’s very personal and what you see is what you get,” Rooseboom said.

He considers Kelley’s best quality to be his optimism.

“He has taught the kids there’s nothing they can’t do if they’re willing to work hard. He has taught them the value of hard work and playing by the rules without taking short-cuts, working together and having respect for the game,” Rooseboom said.

Basketball’s life lessons

Kelley has only had two other jobs his life - working at Converse while in college and teaching sixth-grade at the Tarbox School and seventh- and eighth-grade English at the Oliver School.

He has worked at the Boys and Girls Club for almost 50 years and is now assistant director. He has only had two other jobs at Converse while in college and taught sixth grade at the Tarbox School and seventh and eighth grade English at the Oliver School.

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