Whenever the legend of the DeLaneys began, whether it was the vaunted flag football teams or the perfect seventh-grade basketball season, it was on the ropes four years ago at Killeen High School.
Playing in the eighth-grade championship, twins Josh and Cameron DeLaney found their team trailing big in the first half against Live Oak RIdge, and Cameron was glued to the bench in foul trouble.
“It looked like the DeLaney legacy was going to go down in an eighth-grade championship loss,” Harker Heights head coach Celneque Bobbitt said.
Instead, the next chapter of the DeLaney legacy was written.
“It was me, Damaria (Moon), my friend Tony Barnes and Teron (Davis),” Josh said. “We just stepped it up to like a whole new level. We just came back.”
Four years later, Cameron returned the favor.
After Josh fouled out with 6:11 remaining in regulation of Heights’ area-round showdown with Flower Mound Marcus on Feb. 21, it was Cameron who later hit the 3-pointer with six seconds to play to send the game to overtime.
Cameron had a team-high 16 points in the win, which he and Josh called their favorite memory of any they’ve created in their young hoops careers.
Now, after leading Heights to a district championship and a regional quarterfinal appearance, the DeLaneys’ prep legend ends with the two as the Killeen Daily Herald All-Area co-MVP’s.
After Josh became the first Heights player to win District 8-5A MVP since Royce O’Neale in 2011, he and Cameron agreed that splitting the All-Area MVP felt more fitting.
“Growing up,” Josh said with a smile, “we always had to share.”
Josh said the two never liked sharing, whether it was a room or a car.
But what the two never minded sharing was a backcourt — or a backfield as the two never experienced a loss in junior high football either.
Yet by their sophomore year, the two had given up the gridiron to focus solely on the hardwood.
Not that it wasn’t already their primary sport.
Since the second grade, the twins, along with sister Angela, had gotten up at 5 in the morning for rigorous workouts that included 350 jump shots a day and 200 pushups each night.
That hard work paid off this past fall when the trio signed letters of intent to play at Division I colleges.
And now that the next step is near, with Josh and Angela heading to Sam Houston State and Cameron to the University of Denver, Bobbitt — who was at that eighth-grade championship game — believes the two lived up to the hype.
“I think that they lived up to their billing. Folks can say whatever they want,” Bobbitt said. “There’s been a lot of middle school All-Americans we call them, and these cats lived up to their billing and you can’t take anything away from that.
“Nobody can say they weren’t hard workers, nobody can say they weren’t coachable and nobody can say they didn’t do everything they were supposed to do,” Bobbitt added, “and they were exemplary on and off the court.
“These kids set it on fire in the classroom and in the building. It isn’t like they were just one-sided.”
The twins have even learned to share as they said they expected at least one of them to take home District 8-5A MVP honors this past season.
“When he got it, I wasn’t mad,” Cameron said, “but I was like, man, we couldn’t share it?”
When it came to the Killeen Daily Herald All-Area team, however, the two got their wish.