Celise Bobbitt signing

Harker Heights basketball standout Celise Bobbitt, center, poses for a photo with her parents Celneque, left, and Kerry-Ann during a signing ceremony. Celise will play at Weatherford College next season, 30 years after her father played there.

Thirty years after her father first suited up for Weatherford College, Harker Heights basketball star Celise Bobbitt will be doing the same next fall.

She’ll also be playing for the same coach.

Celise’s father is Celneque Bobbitt, a former Killeen High star who has been the head boys basketball coach at Harker Heights High School since it opened in 2000.

Bob McKinley has been at Weatherford since 1977. He was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2015. He has won more than 950 games at Weatherford, making him one of the winningest active two-year college coaches in the nation.

McKinley has coached the Lady Coyotes for 27 years. He coached the men’s squad for 18 years, including a six-year stint where he coached both teams.

While it might appear Celneque played some role in his daughter’s signing with his old school and coach, the truth is it was almost entirely coincidental. He did put the travel team together, featuring several local stars, that helped Celise get noticed. But the 5-foot-11 Lady Knights forward drew Weatherford’s interest with her play on that team as well as a third straight high school season on the all-district first team.

When the Lady Coyotes produced an offer, Celneque’s other contribution was a heartfelt recommendation of his former mentor.

“I think it’s a slam dunk because she’s getting an opportunity to enhance her game with a guy that’s been in the game for over 60 years, the No. 1 winningest coach in junior college basketball,” Celneque said. “He’s forgot more basketball than any coach in the area knows.”

Celise signed with Weatherford in February, but formally celebrated with many of her teammates during Killeen ISD’s livestreamed virtual signing day event on May 13.

“I’m thankful to have an opportunity,” Celise said. “I’m glad it wasn’t something like where my dad got me the scholarship. It was more like (McKinley) found me and it was really ironic how he was my dad’s coach but now he’s going to be my coach. It’s definitely going to be an interesting experience.”

Celneque, who arrived at Weatherford with three of his KHS teammates, played one season for McKinley before the coach switched to the women’s side.

“He makes basketball fun,” Celneque said, noting that he couldn’t remember his coach uttering a single curse word. “He’s a polar opposite of what you would think a coach would be — hooting and hollering and all that.

“He took care of you on and off the court and he nurtured you. And it was more than basketball ’cause if it was just basketball he would have sent us home for being knuckleheads.”

Contact Mark Miller at markm@kdhnews.com or ​(254) 501-7563

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