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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Prep Sports Report

Oh, brother: Three younger siblings of college stars seek success of their own in basketball

Kobe Knox's burden lines the walls at "The Castle", the nickname of Tampa Catholic's gymnasium.

The reminders of older brother Kevin's accomplishments are everywhere: banners for playing in the McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand Classic games and for being named the state player of the year.

Kobe witnessed it all of last season as a freshman for the Crusaders. He was on varsity for the stretch run and watched Kevin, a senior, lead the program to its second straight state semifinal appearance and a berth in the Class 5A title game.

Kevin now plays at Kentucky and is considered one of the top freshmen in the country. It is widely assumed Kevin will be a lottery pick in the NBA draft.

Those accolades would seem to cast a large shadow, but Kobe does not see it that way.

"To me, that's just my older brother," Kobe said.

Kobe moved into a starting role this season. Two weeks ago, he scored a season-high 31 points in a game and is averaging a team-leading 14 this season while helping the Crusaders secure the No. 2 seed for this week's 5A, District 9 tournament.

There are other siblings in the area who share a sport and a position with an older brother who went on to star in college.

Boca Ciega's Dakota Moore is a guard who can pile up the points, just like his brother, Dallas, did in becoming the school's all-time leading scorer. Dallas went on to North Florida, where he became the Osprey's career-scoring leader and was named the Atlantic Sun player of the year in 2016 and '17.

After going undrafted, Dallas decided to play for Vuella Pesaro and is one of the Italian League's leading scorers.

Growing up, the Moores played plenty of pickup basketball against one another.

"I never won," Dakota said. "I was a lot younger, a lot smarter. But it made me a better player. I became more hungry and worked even harder to get to his level."

This season, Dakota, a junior, has become more of a go-to player and leads the Pirates with an average of nearly 19 points per game. He also has helped Boca Ciega earn the No. 1 seed in the Class 7A, District 9 tournament.

Dakota and his brother Facetime daily. Next week, Dallas will head home for a few days and watch his brother in the district tournament.

"We're pretty close, and I look to him for advice and ways to improve my game," Dakota said.

Boca Ciega’s Dakota Moore (5) looks to pass during their boys basketball Class 7A-9 district semifinals last season against Northeast. (JIM DAMASKE | Times )

Bryce Brown was able to escape his older brother's shadow. The sophomore decided to enroll in Lakewood's CAT (Center for Advanced Technologies) program rather than go to Gibbs, where older brother Barry led the program to the state semifinals.

Barry is now a junior at Kansas State and is one of the Big 12's leading scorers. At Gibbs, Barry became such an icon that a mural bearing his likeness is on the walls of the gymnasium.

As kids, the Browns played basketball in the driveway along with former Lakewood standout Anthony Lawrence Jr., (now at Miami).

Those pickup games ended when the backboard fell apart.

"Barry and Anthony kept lowering the rim so they could dunk," Bryce said. "Then it just broke."

But the games against his older brother continued at the local YMCA.

"I learned so much from my older brother," Bryce said. "He taught me how to be a dog on defense."

Now in high school, Bryce does not have as much time to attend his brother's games. He said the family plans to go to wherever the Wildcats play in the NCAA tournament.

This week, the focus is on the Class 6A, District 11 tournament. Bryce has Osteo-Schlatter disease, a common cause of knee pain in growing adolescents. He missed the past three games but will be ready for the tournament.

The Spartans are the No. 2 seed and could end up facing the top-seeded Gladiators (Barry's alma mater) in the final.

Kobe has been to at least five of his brother's college games. He plans on attending more.

But first, he has to get through his season — and the playoffs.

"We want to get far in the postseason, just like we did when my brother was here," Kobe said.

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