Before a late-November Harker Heights basketball practice, 42-year-old head coach Celneque Bobbitt told his players he’d dunk.
Josh DeLaney and Cameron DeLaney, Bobbitt’s two top players, had their doubts.
“I didn’t think there was any way he could do it,” Josh said.
Bobbitt stands 6-feet-7. But he hadn’t attempted a dunk in more than two years.
“Once Coach Bobbitt told us he hadn’t dunked in two years, I didn’t think he’d get it either,” Cameron said.
Bobbitt was unsuccessful in his first few attempts.
“But we could tell he was getting his legs warmed up,” Cameron said. “Then C.J. (Bobbitt’s son) told me to pull out my phone and use it to video the next try because he thought a successful dunk was coming. And as soon as I pulled out my phone, Coach dunked it.”
“It was funny,” Josh said. “It was the funniest moment we had in any practice all year. It was a basic dunk, but he got it.”
Bobbitt views that dunk differently.
“I’d give that dunk a ‘10’ for sure,” Bobbitt said with a laugh. “I’m sure glad Cameron got the dunk on video on his phone. Otherwise my wife would never have believed me. Although I sure paid for that dunk with sore knees for the next few days. I haven’t even attempted one since. I’ll leave that video as my basketball highlight for a while.”
Once the season started, it was Josh and Cameron who provided the biggest highlights for fans of Harker Heights. Both made jaw-dropping offensive moves. Both came through with big-time 3s. Both played in-your-face, suffocating defense.
The duo led Heights to the Sweet Sixteen and earned Co-MVP honors on the Killeen Daily Herald’s All-Area Team.
And this is one heck of a first-team. Besides the DeLaneys, there’s C.J. Bobbitt, Dane Hankamer, Shane Johnson, Brian Long and Rashard Odomes.
“I think that’s a great representation of basketball in our area,” Coach Bobbitt said. “Nobody can complain with the selection of that group.”
And if he could coach these seven on one team?
“We’d be playing for the universal championship,” Bobbitt said. “We’d be playing for the national championship, not just state. As a coach, this is a group where you just roll out the basketballs, sit back and look good.”
What about strategy?
“We’re going full-court man all the time with this bunch,” Bobbitt said. “And once we steal the ball, whoever it is that makes the steal becomes our point guard and the other four on the court fill the lanes. Honestly, I don’t see how this group would lose to anyone.”
The DeLaneys agree.
“This would be a ‘dream team,’ totally unstoppable,” Josh said.
“Nobody would ever beat us,” Cameron said. “Some high school teams might give us a run for our money but nobody would beat us.”
Well, as long as we’re talking “dream team” here, how about a dream match-up?
Josh DeLaney vs. Cameron DeLaney. Full court, one-on-one to 30 points.
“I’d definitely win that one,” said Josh, who will suit up for Sam Houston State this upcoming season. “I can get in Cameron’s head pretty easy. I’d just talk a lot, like Reggie Miller used to do. The score would probably be 30-27 because Cameron is a good ballplayer. I’d have the ball last possession, drain a 3 and then walk of the court like Gilbert Arenas used to do.”
Cameron’s take differs.
“Josh can talk trash but it wouldn’t work on me,” said Cameron, who will play for the University of Denver. “Of course I would win this game. I’d just overpower Josh. I weigh 194 and he weighs about a buck-sixty.”
For the record, Josh is 6-feet-tall and Cameron is 6-3.
“Josh versus me would be a close game,” Cameron said. “There would be great defense. One would catch fire and then the other one of us would catch fire. It would be a fun show to watch. Bottom line: I’d win by six.”
Coach Bobbitt said picking a winner is futile.
“Full court between Josh and Cameron? Forget it,” Bobbitt said. “The game would end in a double-forfeit. It would never get finished because they’d argue and fight over every call. I’d be willing to ref the game but they’d argue with me. You’d have to hire a ref from out of town who doesn’t know either one of them. But, even then, neither would ever back down. They are both such great competitors.
“I’m just glad and proud that I got to coach them. That they’re Co-MVPs in our area is awesome. This honor is very well deserved. But one-on-one? Cameron and Josh? I will say this: Until it ended with a quarrel, with those two guys playing, there’d be a lot of highlights.
“You’d see some great basketball action.”
And it’d be well worth pulling out a phone and taking videos.