Salt Lake Community College's men's basketball program picked up two of the state's top senior guards when Viewmont's Davis Emery and Davis' Connor Van Brocklin signed with the Bruins last week.
Emery and Van Brocklin won't need any introductions, as they've battled hard against each other in Region 1 the last couple of seasons.
They're also first cousins.
Emery's dad, Jeff, the Viewmont boys basketball coach, is the brother of Van Brocklin's mom, Allyson. Emery and Van Brocklin have played together on AAU teams in the past, but never in as meaningful of a situation as they'll find themselves at SLCC.
"It will be fun," Emery said. "We've talked about how it's weird that we get to go to college and play on the same team."
Both players were being looked at by a few programs. Emery said that he and Van Brocklin decided early on in the recruiting process that if they were offered a place at SLCC, they would commit and sign to play for the Bruins on the spot. SLCC, coming off a second-place finish in the NJCAA tournament, has a lot of holes to fill from this past season's team.
Emery and Van Brocklin are tight, and all the time they spent playing with and against each other on Van Brocklin's Sport Court will likely pay off for SLCC coach Norm Parrish.
"We have a good feel for each other and what we're going to do," Emery said.
The two players engaged in a friendly rivalry while competing for Viewmont and Davis. Emery said they would occasionally talk during their games. If they were ever seen laughing during the heated games between the two programs, it was because one was making fun of the other, or someone else on the court.
"It never really got too competitive," Emery said. "Connor is probably the least cocky kid you'll ever meet."
Both players hope to earn some playing time next season, and help the Bruins to another run at a national title.
"I think that both of them, really, have their best basketball ahead of them," said Jeff Emery.
POWERLIFTING TOURNAMENT AT BINGHAM: The annual state powerlifting championship for high school athletes will be held at Bingham High School Thursday at 4 p.m. It's free to the public and features about 300 of the state's strongest athletes.
FOOTBALL PLAYERS HONORED: The Utah Chapter of the National Football Foundation recognized 12 players for its prestigious Scholar-Athlete Awards at a banquet last week. The players were given their awards based upon how well they played during the 2007 season, academics and community involvement. They were each awarded $1,000 scholarships.
The 12 players were Grant Barber (Millard), Jared Bruton (Duchesne), Jefferson Court (Alta), Riley Crosbie (Mountain Crest), Brantley Dunn (Alta), Mark Ercanbrack (Timpview), Austin Holt (Bingham), Brady Hunt (Alta), Dustin Kunz (Millard), Dane Lyman (San Juan), Tagert Smith (Parowan) and Christian Stewart (Timpanogos).
American Fork coach Davis Knight and official Steve Lunt were also recognized for their outstanding service to high school athletics.
STAYING HOME: Snow Canyon's Dalton Groskreutz, one of St. George's top athletes, has committed to play basketball at Dixie State next season.
Groskreutz starred in two sports at Snow Canyon. He excelled in both football and basketball, and was named a first-team all-state pick in basketball after helping the Warriors to the 4A quarterfinals during his senior season. He averaged 13.9 points per game last season.
METRO HAS 'SWEET' RUN: Salt Lake Metro's boys 17U basketball team, led by prized juniors Tyler Haws and Nate Austin of Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove's C.J. Wilcox, fared well at the prestigious Houston Ringwood Classic last week. The team went 1-1 in pool play and advanced to the tournament's sweet 16. That was no small feat, considering 261 teams from across the nation competed in the tournament.
Among the individual highlights from the competition included Haws scoring 35 points against Compton Magic in pool play, Wilcox scoring 26 points against Yakima Elite in the tournament, and Austin grabbing 15 rebounds against the Carolina Celtics in the team's sweet 16 defeat.
Other players on the team were: Elliott Bullock (Olympus), Cam Evans (Clearfield), Corbin Miller (Brighton), Tommy Tebbs (Lone Peak) and Craig Tucker (Pleasant Grove). The team was coached by Dave Hammer.