Renowned scout Max Ivany has been fielding travel basketball teams under his Texas D1 moniker for 16 years.
And every year, Killeen and its deep pool of basketball talent have been a part of the program.
“D.J. Stephens was with him when he got to Memphis,” Harker Heights head coach Celneque Bobbitt said. “And Josh and Cameron (DeLaney), in Colorado, got Division-I offers.”
The talent pool in Killeen is as deep as ever today, and the tradition has continued this summer with a number of local standouts competing for the renowned teams.
Perhaps the most star-crossed team is the D1 Ambassadors, based out of Central Texas, which sported Harker Heights’ trio of Division-I commits — Josh and Cameron DeLaney and Roderick Taylor — and Copperas Cove junior Rashard Odomes last year.
Odomes is back this year. This summer, he is joined by Heights junior C.J. Bobbitt and Ellison junior Malik Malone.
The D1-Dallas team also has familiar names in Killeen guards Demarius Cress and Mikell Clark and Ellison forward Shaqur Martin.
For Celneque Bobbitt, who has traveled to Orlando, Fla., to watch the Ambassadors play — they’ve also played in Indianapolis this summer — the opportunities the teams provide are invaluable.
“I’ve seen the Nike circuit and I’ve seen the Adidas circuit,” Bobbitt said. “If your kid is just getting the opportunity to be talked to by a college coach you should be happy.
“Because there’s just so much to look at — they’ve got teams from Canada in the league.”
Yet even against the highest competition, and in front of the watchful eye of college coaches and scouts, local players on the Ambassadors have managed to stand out in the eyes of scouts like Ivany.