Kelly Hays, a 5-foot-8 guard who signed to play basketball for Harding University on Wednesday during the early signing period, helped put the Conway Christian girls program on the map.

In helping the Eagles to Class 2A state championship last season (the school’s first in Arkansas Activities Association play), she averaged 10 points and four assists per game as a junior. A three-time all-conference honoree, Hays earned all-state and All-VYPE honors as a junior. 

She is among the first CCS athletes to gain a full collegiate scholarship in a sport.

The Lady Eagles have compiled a 96-23 record during her three-year career on the varsity. During her freshman through junior seasons, she scored 1,026 points, including 150 3-pointers, in averaging 12 points per game. She had 200 steals and 225 assists. Over five seasons, she has scored 1,497 points, including 188 3’s and has averaged 12.8 points per game. She had 200 steals and 225 assists.

In addition to her all-conference and all-state honors, she made the first-team  all-tournament unit in the 2008 Tulsa Metro tournament and was MVP of the 2009 CAC Invitational. 

"Kelly is a great basketball player," said Ashley Nance, who coached her most of her varsity career, including last year’s championship season. "She is the hardest-working player that I have ever coached, and there is no doubt she has earned her scholarship. Harding University is a great place for Kelly, and I look forward to watching her play at the collegiate level under coach Tim Kirby."