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Wade Jewkes, Deseret Morning News
The Meros of Sandy have a good balance between home-schooling and hoops. The family includes Paul, father in back, Sally, mother in front, and sons, from left, Joe, Cameron, Evan and Brigham.

SANDY — There are not many families who can claim four boys who are all exceptionally gifted basketball players. Furthermore, the Mero family is set apart by one additional discriminating factor: They are home schooled.

Mother Sally is committed to the home school program and two older daughters were home schooled in addition to the four sons. She said, "If there is something that they wanted to know about and I wanted to know about it, then we learned it together."

By now the routine is established and her primary role is to act as an advisor or consultant. She conducts tests and turns in grades to Jordan High School.

"The best part about it," said Sally, "they don't have to get up at 6 a.m."

Evan, who is 16, chimed in with: "It is the only thing we have ever known."

Home schooling and playing sports do not go well together but it can be done as proved by the Meros. Cameron, the oldest son, played two years at Jordan and made the All-State team.

He left for an LDS mission immediately after his playing days were over and when he returned he still had the itch to play basketball. He scouted several teams and chose Alameda College in Oakland to try out. He started at point guard on an all black team and was doing well when social conditions proved too difficult to continue.

He currently attends Salt Lake Community College and has talked to a number of college coaches around the state about playing.

Why did he go to Oakland knowing what he would face there?

"I like the challenge of being challenged," he said.

Because of his abnormal circumstances and the sequence of events, he is not a known basketball commodity and it will be an uphill battle to continue his playing career. But he may very well be up to the challenge.

Brigham, the second son, is 18 and currently starting at Jordan High School. At 6-3 he can play just about any position but his athleticism relegates him to playing inside and defending the other team's best scorer. As such he is not as involved with the offense and averages 10-11 points per game. He can play inside or outside.

Asked whether or not he shoots the 3-point shot, he replied, "As often as I can."

The Meros are putting together a highlight film of his spectacular slams.

"He has springs in his legs," says his mother.

As for learning the game of basketball, the Mero boys are also home schooled. Or perhaps more appropriatetly "driveway schooled." They are all dead-eye shooters — from 3-point range or any range for that matter.

Youngest son Joe stands 6-2 at 14 years old and has traveled on AAU teams to play in Las Vegas. Yes, he can shoot the three, but he expects to still grow another 4-to-6 inches and be a versatile player from the inside as well.

Evan is 16 years old, stands 6-4, and starts on the Jordan junior varsity. He sees some varsity playing time as a sophomore. In his own words he does "everything well." He claims to "finish well" also. He averaged 25 points a game last year on the sophomore team.

Father Paul sums up the basketball philosophy of all his sons:

"They are all team players," he said.

And there is one family rule that applies to everyone: "We all take personal responsibility."

Nothing less would be expected from young men who learn the game of life from such a perspective.

E-mail: wjewkes@desnews.com