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COC basketball: Sibling revelry

Kimble, Dominguez brothers are helping COC basketball bounce back

Posted: November 22, 2009 11:11 p.m.
Updated: November 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Brother tandems Brian and Ben Kimble, left, and Rendon and Parker Dominguez have reunited on the COC men's basketball team after growing up together and playing at different times for Hart High.

 
It wasn’t really planned, per se, but it all sort of came together at a College of the Canyons men’s basketball game on Nov. 8 against Pasadena.

Brian Kimble remembers playing on YMCA teams with his younger brother Ben.

Brothers Rendon and Parker Dominguez have played together for as long as they can remember.

Brian and Rendon recall making a travel team together in the fourth grade.

In time, Ben and Parker followed their older brothers through the junior varsity and varsity ranks at Hart High School.

And on Nov. 8, the four of them sat next to each other on the bench, waiting to hear their names as the announcer called the starting lineups.

“That was fun. It was kind of special when they announced our names, two Kimbles and two Dominguezes,” says Rendon. “It’s not something we talk about, but I think all of us realized it was special, me and Brian especially, because we’re 20 and might not get another chance to play together.”

It wasn’t a novelty move by COC head coach Howard Fisher, either. It made sense to put the four of them together.

Rendon is a three-point marksman who likes to draw defenders to the perimeter and put up jumpers in their faces. His brother Parker is the perfect counterbalance, a bruising forward who makes his basketball living in the key with post-up moves.

Then there’s Brian, a slashing scorer who also likes to create opportunities for his teammates, and Ben, who describes his hustling style with a workmanlike motto.

“I just want to get after the ball whenever I can,” he says. “I love taking charges. All my points come from defense.”

The brothers and friends have been around each other so long it’s not surprising their games are complementary.

As the Cougars gradually built a 20-point lead in the first half on Nov. 8, the fifth starter, forward Brannon Bradley, could see how much his squad has changed in a year.

“The difference this year is that this team is like a family,” Bradley says, without much exaggeration. “We do things together on and off the court and everybody is kind of looking out for everyone else.”

Brian and Bradley are the only returners from last year’s 11-19 squad, and both emphasized that last year taught them the importance of a team playing in unison.

Hart basketball coach Tom Kelly watched COC’s first two games, and as he saw his former players run the fast break against Pasadena — Rendon grabbing a rebound and sending an outlet pass to Brian, who then found Ben on the wing, who dumped it into Parker for a layup — he could see the cohesion.

He coached all four players at Hart, although he never got all of them together.

Brian graduated in 2007, Rendon in ’08 and Brian and Parker in ’09. But they won 62 combined games in three years at Hart, something Kelly attributed to sheer competitiveness.

“They all have just made a lot of improvements overall,” Kelly says. “They understand how hard you have to compete at this level. They’re learning how to play hard every game, the whole game.”

At Ben and Parker’s graduation, the reunion idea was first bounced around.

“We just kind of joked about it, because I was thinking about leaving The Master’s College and we were all joking around and saying, ‘The brothers need to be playing together.’ It wasn’t anything that we really planned though,” Rendon says.

After deciding to transfer, it made sense for Rendon to play at College of the Canyons, where Brian would be returning after redshirting last season and Ben and Parker would be coming out for the team as freshmen.

Brian says having friends and family on the team also helps with his leadership role. Even though the team has fun, there are times when things get serious.

“It helps a lot because it shows everybody else just because I yell at someone, I don’t mean it personally,” Brian says. “I have nothing against (that person), it’s just basketball, and when it’s over we all go back to being boys again.”

There was a little bit of yelling as COC’s big lead against Pasadena slipped away on Nov. 8. The Cougars eventually won 93-88, but needed overtime to do so.

Brian said the scare taught the team a lesson.

“We were only up by four (in the second half) and our inexperience showed we weren’t ready to play with a lead. We didn’t build on it, but our third game, we got a big lead and kept it,” Brian says, referring to the team’s 65-46 win over El Camino on Nov. 11.

Bradley said he expects some ups and downs with a young team. Fisher said he would be trying different lineups all season, just trying to create the best matchups possible with his personnel.

Brian said the team is developing quickly, despite having 10 new players.

The unity definitely helps.

“I think experience is always good, but chemistry might be a little better,” Brian says. “Because as long as we’re all working together on one accord on the same page, that will be good enough and we can learn from our experience."

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