At one point last year, three of the five starters for the Ogdensburg Free Academy boys basketball team were the LaRose brothers.
Twins Breton and Cavan graduated last spring, leaving younger brother Kinnon, a junior, with more of a leadership role.
Kinnon LaRose has responded well to the task, averaging 22.7 points and helping the Blue Devils to an 11-1 overall record and a perfect 8-0 record in the Central Division of the Northern Athletic Conference.
Hes stepped up as a leader, OFA coach Mark Henry said. I think hes adjusted very well. Hes much more vocal in practices and games.
All three of the LaRose brothers are talented athletes. A younger brother, Brogan, is in elementary school.
It was weird when they were not there, LaRose said of his older brothers.
Both Breton and Cavan are attending Sacred Heart University. Breton is playing NCAA Division I baseball and Cavan, who has struggled with knee injuries the past few years, is expecting to play on the mens basketball team next season.
We can all shoot, LaRose said of his family. Well look for the open man, too. If someone else is open, well give them the ball. If you give it up youll get it right back.
The unselfish aspect of Kinnons game is what Henry believes makes him a special player.
He lets the game come to him, Henry said. He doesnt force things. You dont usually see that in a scorer. Hes a rare breed in that he has very good shooting range and is very athletic. I havent see range like that in a while.
Hes very humble. He keeps his composure well. Hes very grounded because of a great upbringing at home. I think hes stepped right in (as a leader) with no problems.
OFA has also gelled as a team early in the season and the Blue Devils could be headed for a special season.
The only loss OFA has suffered was a 65-63 defeat to Class A Albany Academy. OFA also routed the team that eliminated them from the state Class B playoffs last year, earning an 84-45 win over Section 2s Watervliet.
Our goal is to get to (state final four in Glens Falls) and try to win a state championship, LaRose said. (Watervliet) helped us a lot. We pushed the ball and we played good defense.
Said Henry, It was really good to go downstate and play. It got us out on the road and got us used to travel and it was a nice team-bonding way to start the season.
LaRose, who is 6-foot-3, has scored 30 or more points twice, with a high of 32 against Potsdam. Hes reached double figures in all 12 of OFAs games and has scored at least 20 or more points seven times.
Hes a very good shooter, Henry said. We run some different sets for him. He rebounds very well now and hes quick off the floor. He plays shooting guard and small forward and he plays (point guard) once in a while.
LaRose is only a junior, but hes already drawing attention from college scouts. His father, Steve, posted a video to YouTube showing an overall example of his sons game.
A lot of the college coaches want you to do that sort of thing, Steve LaRose said. Its easier for them to see a player that way. Coach Henry has received many inquiries.
LaRose also had a full-size basketball court installed in their home in Ogdensburg about eight years ago.
Its nice, Kinnon said. I use it a lot. During the summer its where I am.