Keller Citizen

Central guard short on stature, not skills

He’s a shooter. That’s what you can unequivocally say about James DeSilva of the Keller Central boys basketball team.

DeSilva, all of 5-4 – maybe 5-5 – has had a hot hand for the Chargers thus far.

In his senior year, he has made the most of his opportunities after spending the summer working on his shooting.

“He was on the JV team last year and he embraced it,” said Central basketball head coach Gerald Sledge. “He can shoot it. He can really shoot it. He’s a high percentage guy and is doing well with what he’s been taught to do. He’s paid his dues to get the opportunity.”

And when DeSilva shoots, it’s normally from 3-point range.

In the Lake Worth tournament, DeSilva hit 15 total 3-pointers.

“Since I was 6, I’ve been shooting 3s,” DeSilva said. “It’s an everyday thing for me to shoot 3s.”

Shooting can be a streaky thing, too.

DeSilva said Sledge has worked with him on the mental side of the equation.

“He used to get down on himself,” Sledge said. “But I can get him back to being motivated and it’s not a problem.”

Sledge recounted a game in which DeSilva wasn’t on and he thought he’d better serve the team by going to the bench.

“He said, ‘Take me out. I’m not hitting,’ but I put him back in and told him, ‘You’re cold only when I pull you out.’ Now, he understands why.”

Although the shooting has come naturally, DeSilva said making the jump up to varsity has created a bit of nervousness, but he’s learned to work through it.

“I just work hard and play though it,” he said.

The focus has carried over to the defensive end of the court for DeSilva, too.

“I take a lot of pride in it, as well,” DeSilva said of contributing when not on offense.

With Central employing a run-and-gun style offense, there will be plenty of times when the Chargers will have to make quick transitions.

“We want to shoot 64 times a game,” Sledge said. “I told James I want him to score 12 points a game.”

DeSilva said his high-point game was 15, hitting on five 3-pointers.

When the ball isn’t going in, though, DeSilva said Sledge has a consistent message for him.

“Keep shooting. The next one is going in. The next one is good.”

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