High school boys basketball: Top-ranked Lone Peak features trio of younger siblings
HIGHLAND — Growing up admiring your older siblings is a common occurrence amongst young adolescents. At a young age, who's cooler than your older brother? Not many names come to mind other than Batman.
If the last names seem familiar — they should.
Jackson Emery, the older brother of Nick, is the all-time steals leader at BYU. Jackson was also the Deseret News' Mr. Basketball in 2005.
Tyler Haws, brother of T.J., is considered one of the most prolific players to ever prep in the state of Utah, garnishing consecutive Mr. Basketball awards in 2008 and 2009. Tyler started as a true freshman at BYU before leaving on a church mission.
Justin Hamilton, brother of Jordan, was named a first-team All-State performer in high school and started two seasons at Iowa State before announcing that he intended to transfer to LSU.
"I think the first thing is they have really good direction at home — all three of them," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis, "Their parents really help manage those kids as far as 'Hey you're your own guy, he is your brother, and we love him, but you're your own guy.'
"It's great 'cause all three come from really great families and they allow me to coach their kid. I don't think that's the case all the time, especially with talented players and the kids are very coachable themselves."
All three older brothers helped Lone Peak build a dynasty that went 120-24 with three state championships during the 2004-09 seasons.
"(It's) fun. You have their older brothers, but as you have those older brothers you see the younger brothers dribble a ball around after a game and they're in about fifth grade — shootin' on the baskets," Lewis said. "You can just see that they're excited about playing even when they were younger."
With the circle of life coming around twice for the Knights, fans are ecstatic about the possibilities the future brings — and this time, believe it or not — it might even be better.
Currently, the Knights are the unanimous No. 1-ranked team in the state with a 12-1 record, and have already set a single-game school scoring record (109) against Brighton earlier this year.
Just how staggering is that record? Well, being that high school games are a mere 32 minutes long, that total averages to be 3.5 points per minute.
"Knowing the kids — they're going to work pretty hard in the offseason," Lewis said when asked if he feels the team has yet to hit its full potential. "I really can't imagine (them) not becoming better than where they are at right now."
Nick, just a sophomore, is one of the state's premier scorers, averaging slightly more than 22 points per contest and is undoubtedly the team leader.
"Nick is just a tremendous talent. Offensively he brings the whole package," Lewis said. "From 3's to midrange to getting to the basket, I think this year he's developed greater body strength and is able to take hits better."
Jordan is a 6-foot-7 senior and is the oil that makes the Lone Peak engine run. His posterizing dunks and presence in the key both offensively and defensively give the Knights an added dimension.
T.J., a young freshman, starts and plays almost the entire game. He's the one of the elite ball handlers in the state already, and his ability to connect at the free-throw line late in games makes him an asset.
"T.J. has unusual poise for a freshman, and he's an excellent shooter and very skilled offensively," Lewis said. "Maybe something that's overlooked is he's a very good passer."
Lone Peak has a chance to do something special, something most families never have the opportunity to achieve. How sweet would it be for the young pups to say, "Hey, I've got one too" after winning a state championship?