• December 22, 2014

ALLAN MANDELL ON SPORTS Hoops videos always on at the Bobbitts

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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 4:30 am

Video. There’s not enough hours in the day to watch those tapes.

Needless to say, Harker Heights 15-year head coach Celneque Bobbitt knows how to work the remote.

After leading the Knights to the District 8-5A championship with a 12-2 record, Heights will face Cedar Hill in the first round of postseason play on Tuesday in Waco.

Bobbitt is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation.

On Saturday, he woke at 5:30 a.m. Then he watched video of his team and Cedar Hill for almost three full hours.

“It’s all about basketball for him right now,” said Kerry-Ann Bobbitt, Celneque’s wife. “We’ve been married for 17 wonderful years and nothing has changed for him: During basketball season, he is totally committed — and I mean totally.”

From 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Celneque was at Harker Heights High School helping supervise a middle-school basketball tournament.

“It’s fun watching these kids,” Celneque said. “I know some of them will end up playing here for me.”

I see. So then your own guys, the current players on Harker Heights High School team, must have had the day off. Right, Coach?

“No way! They worked. Believe me, they worked.”

The current members of the Knights were in the Harker Heights High School weight room from 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

“They lifted weights like they do every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday,” Celneque said. “Then they watched video from 12:15 to 1:30. And then we had a practice, a real intense practice, from 1:30 to 3:00. The kids were focused, locked in.”

From 3:45 to 5 p.m., Celneque reviewed strategy with his assistant coaches.

At 5 p.m., he drove over to the Killeen Daily Herald’s main office for an online video interview. He repeatedly heaped praise on his 2014 championship team.

Up to a point.

One question dealt with who would win if the 1990 Killeen Kangeroos — who had a star 6-foot-6 forward by the name of Celneque Bobbitt — were to face the 2014 Harker Heights Knights.

I won’t spoil the surprise by giving away Bobbitt’s answer. But, suffice to say, the 42-year-old Bobbitt still takes an enormous amount of pride in the high school team he played on.

Late on Saturday night, after Bobbitt blew off some steam by — what else? — watching more video then playing hoops in a recreational basketball game, I called him with another question.

Can any of your current players beat you in a one-on-one game of hoops?

“There’s no chance of that,” Bobbitt said. “First of all, I’ve got infinite fouls to give. If I play them, I’m the referee, not just their coach. I make all the calls and, trust me, all close calls go my way. Actually, all the calls will go my way. No, none of my kids will be able to beat me.”

Kerry-Ann disagrees.

“My baby would beat my husband,” she said.

The Bobbitts’ son, C.J., is an outstanding junior forward and key component to the Knights’ success this year.

“My husband’s legs are old,” said Kerry-Ann with a laugh. “He’d have to foul and foul to get the win. My son and husband played about a year or two ago and Celneque won but it was really close, so I think Celneque is done playing my baby.”

Once he got home from his recreational basketball game, Celneque Bobbitt turned on the video. The video. There’s always more video to watch.

“I’ll keep watching video until I fall asleep,” he said. “I’ll probably watch for three or four hours. My wife understands.”

“I do understand,” Kerry-Ann said. “This is basketball season. Basketball rules right now. But then, once the season ends, we get back to the honey-do season.”

What’s that?

Celneque has the answer.

“Honey, do this and honey, do that,” he says. “She’ll tell me what to do and then I just have to do it. That’s why I need this postseason to keep going on and on and on — so I can delay the honey-do season.

“So I’ll just keep on watching video, doing whatever I can to help my guys do the best they can on Tuesday night.”

Finally, my phone conversation with the venerable coach must come to a close.

He must get back to watching video.

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