It’s a dynamic duo that’s running the Keller Central boys basketball team’s backcourt, but they’re not quite ready to be known as Batman and Robin.
Freshman Latrell Jossell and junior Jakobe Kirk seem to have found a symbiotic way to work together and help get the Chargers moving toward a strong second half of the district schedule.
“We draw and penetrate and it just happens,” Jossell said. “We set each other up.”
It seems to be Kirk setting up Jossell more often than not.
“He tells me a lot during the game,” Jossell said of the upperclassman Kirk. “He finds me a lot.”
Kirk has used his experience to become a director on the court and he has no hesitation in letting the freshman shine.
“I’m glad he’s a good contributor and he shoots lights-out — I like to get him open shots,” Kirk said. “We play pretty well together and have spent a lot of time in the summer and recreational gym time together. We have chemistry together. The team feeds off him when he gets hot and we even play better defense.”
It’s a reciprocal thing, apparently.
“A lot of times, I tell him to shoot. I tell him to release it. Just catch and shoot,” Jossel said of coaching his teammate. “I told him before the Keller game … and he hit five 3s.”
One aspect the two have in common is the chance to start as freshmen.
While they’ve become ringleaders on the court, they recognized the leadership provided by senior Jacob Reynolds.
Jossell said he had no expectation to be a starter as a freshman, but he said head coach Gerald Sledge told him to just play his game and see how things unfolded.
Now in just his second year in Texas, Jossell said his family moved here from Chicago where he learned to play with his brother and cousins.
After the initial game jitters, Jossell said he’s settled in and the butterflies are now gone.
While Jossell settles in, Kirk said he thinks of himself as a facilitating point guard.
“I can score and give assists, play defense or box out and rebound,” Kirk said.
The 5-7 Kirk said he still wants to improve on his shooting. Still on his mind is his freshman-year knack for hitting the 3 which he feels hasn’t been as sharp recently.
With the leading scorer being the current freshman, Kirk sees his role as being just as important.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Kirk said of Jossell leading the scoring stats category. “I just want the team to have success. I want to contribute.”
With the Chargers picking up a win over Weatherford last week while Kirk was out with an illness, Kirk said to watch out for more to come.
“Coach told the team that could be a key confidence boost,” Kirk said “Everybody knows now they can be ready to play in a big game.”
Kirk also noted the team is a closer-knit group than last year. “It’s the key to build chemistry to be successful.”