BASKETBALL: Browne brothers bring horsepower to Holy Cross

FLEETWOOD — Taylor Browne is in his fourth year of playing senior high school basketball with Holy Cross, but this season has been a special one for him, his coach and his family.

This season, he’s playing alongside a teammate he has played hoops with his entire life: his younger brother Marcus.

“It’s been pretty cool. I’ve always wanted to play (high school basketball) with him,” Taylor said. “We do have our arguments, but it’s good because it builds our chemistry, not only on the basketball floor but off of the basketball floor, and (we’re) getting closer as brothers.”

Like his brother did, Marcus is playing on the senior team as a junior.

Matt LeChasseur, Holy Cross’ head coach, said it’s no surprise Marcus made the team because he believes the six-foot-four guard is one of the best Grade 10 players in the province.

After a heartbreaking conclusion to last season, when the Crusaders lost 67-64 to Sir Winston Churchill in the provincial championship final, the coach is impressed with how this season is going.

“After the success we had last year, going to provincials, a lot of teams wrote us off because we graduated a lot of Grade 12s. But some teams underestimated the kids we still have in the program,” said the head coach. “We’re having a fantastic year.”

Just three players returned from last season’s squad, and two Grade 10s – Marcus and Keegan Konn – are among starters this year.

It is the fluidity with which the Browne brothers play that has the coach so impressed.

“They’ll make plays on the floor between the two of them that only the two of them could make. Not just in terms of skill, but also in terms of knowing where the other is on the floor. It’s almost like a sixth sense.

“They’re able to communicate with each other in a way that only brothers can,” he added.

Communication is the most interesting aspect of their relationship on the hardwood.

In their first game together, Marcus was asking Taylor to pass the ball to him – but he wasn’t calling him Taylor, LeChausseur recalled.

“I nudged Pezz (assistant coach Anthony Pezzente) and asked, ‘What is that?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ After the game I went up to Marcus and asked him, ‘Marcus, what were you saying to Taylor there?’” the coach asked.

Marcus calls his older brother kuya (pronounced koo-ya), a Filipino word for older brother.

“I have two brothers as well, so I understand the relationship,” LeChausseur added. “You always kind of look up to your older brother as much as you want to compete with him. The way that he demonstrates it publicly, that’s the type of relationship you want your kids to have with their brothers.”

Taylor says it shows him that nothing has changed from off the court to on the court.

“We’ve grown up and he’s always called me that,” he said. “That’s just the respect that we have for each other. I think the rest of our lives, he’s going to call me kuya because it doesn’t sound right when he calls me Taylor.”

Added Marcus: “I don’t get embarrassed by saying it. That’s what I’ve grown up with. It feels really weird to say Taylor.”

LeChausseur said his team set three goals at the beginning of the season: win their division, win the Fraser Valley Championships and win the provincial title.

With the first goal already accomplished, the third-ranked team in the Valley starts working toward its second goal on their home court this Friday night (Feb. 20) at 8:15 p.m. For schedules and results for the Fraser Valley Championships, visit Fvbball.org.

kyle.benning@gmail.com

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