Seniors leave imprint on team
You won't usually hear their names announced in the starting lineup, and you usually won't see them as the high scorer of the game, but seniors Kevin Delourie and Justin Jones are integral parts of the Parkland boys basketball program.
They are the two lone seniors for the Trojans, and they bring a lot more to the table than just their statistics. Spending three years as varsity members, and four years in the Parkland program, head coach Andy Stephens has been able spend a lot of time with the two and knows what they can do for his team.
"These two have stuck with the program for all four years," Stephens said. "They could have easily said 'we're not going to play a lot,' and moved on. They really improved last year, and have taken their games to a new level as seniors."
Delourie and Jones were voted team captains at the beginning of the season. Stephens also said the leadership of the two has been key to this young team, and a reason why they were named captains.
With a lot of height in the starting lineup, there may be times when some players get into foul trouble. That is where Delourie comes in. He brings a lot of energy off the bench on both sides of the ball. He won't light up the scoreboard, but if Stephens needs a defensive stop, or needs to inject life into his team, Delourie is his guy.
"I expected to lead by example and get everybody up," Delourie said. "I want everyone to be confident, and I'm satisfied as long as I'm doing what it takes to win."
Jones is more of a scorer. He is the Trojans spot-up shooter, who can be lights-out at times. When Jack Dreisbach was injured and missed a two week period, Jones stepped up and filled-in for the junior. The Trojans still never lost with Jones inserted into the starting lineup.
"I try to keep it simple and not do too much," Jones stated. "We have a lot of athletes on this team that can score, so when I come in I just try to hit my shots and help us win. I just want to make things easier for my teammates by giving them rest and not letting up on scoring."
Both are former football players who quit the gridion after their sophomore years. They will also both attend college. Delourie plans on studying physical therapy, and Jones is undecided.