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High school basketball: OFA’s LaRose fills in for older brothers

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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.

“He’s stepped up as a leader,” OFA coach Mark Henry said. “I think he’s adjusted very well. He’s 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 men’s basketball team next season.

“We can all shoot,” LaRose said of his family. “We’ll look for the open man, too. If someone else is open, we’ll give them the ball. If you give it up you’ll get it right back.”

The unselfish aspect of Kinnon’s game is what Henry believes makes him a special player.

“He lets the game come to him,” Henry said. “He doesn’t force things. You don’t usually see that in a scorer. He’s a rare breed in that he has very good shooting range and is very athletic. I haven’t see range like that in a while.

“He’s very humble. He keeps his composure well. He’s very grounded because of a great upbringing at home. I think he’s 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 2’s 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. He’s reached double figures in all 12 of OFA’s games and has scored at least 20 or more points seven times.

“He’s a very good shooter,” Henry said. “We run some different sets for him. He rebounds very well now and he’s 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 he’s already drawing attention from college scouts. His father, Steve, posted a video to YouTube showing an overall example of his son’s game.

“A lot of the college coaches want you to do that sort of thing,” Steve LaRose said. “It’s 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.

“It’s nice,” Kinnon said. “I use it a lot. During the summer it’s where I am.”

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