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Brandon Price and Kelton Ford don’t play on the same team. Their high schools are separated by nearly 20 miles. They aren’t even related so it would stand to reason that they’d be different in many ways.
That’s not the case, though.
Not only do Price and Ford play the same position – point guard – but they go about it in identical ways. Both have great court vision, getting their teammates involved in the game, but both can score when needed as well. They both go all-out and give every ounce of energy they have when they step on the court. Both are tough-minded and fearless on the court.
Price and Ford are going to do whatever their team needs to be successful. Price has guided the Bulldogs to a 23-3 record, while Ford had led his team to a 19-7 mark and a spot in the Boys’ 5th Region Tournament after Tuesday night’s 50-28 victory over Hart County.
“To be honest with you, I thought I was the biggest competitor until I met Brandon,” Ford said. “When we played John Hardin in the region semifinals last year, even though we were up 17, I could tell in Brandon’s eyes he didn’t want to lose. I saw him this summer take over games. He might be a bigger competitor than me. We just want to win.”
Price and Ford spent the summer playing together. They were on the same AAU team and they were roommates at a basketball camp where they shared Most Valuable Player honors. The two have remained close friends, texting back-and-forth about games.
They even shared trade secrets with one another. Price helped Ford with his crossover move and Ford gave Price tips on becoming a better shooter.
“We’re very similar,” Price said. “I watched his game a lot this summer. We both can get to the basket when we want. He helped me a lot with my shooting. He is so smooth. He is never too high or too low. He makes everything look really easy.”
John Hardin coach Mark Wells has had the luxury of coaching Price during his high school career, but he was able to spend time with Ford this summer coaching an All-Star team.
“Kelton is a lot like Brandon,” Wells said. “He’s a great 3-point shooter, better than he gets credit for. I really enjoyed coaching him. It’s the same way with Brandon. They want to win. They are competitors. Both draw a lot of attention and they know how to create for their teammates. They have great court vision and a high basketball IQ.”
Great court vision doesn’t happen overnight. It’s developed through years of playing the game. It’s not by chance Price and Ford are ranked first and second in the area in assists.
“I was always told to keep your head up,” Ford said. “If there are 10 eyes on you, they’re not seeing something you’re seeing. If I can get by one guy, it’s going to open my teammates up if the defense comes to me.”
Price spends countless hours watching film. In fact, he watches each game three times.
“I watch myself the first time, I watch how the defense is reacting the second time and I watch to see what I might have missed the first two times,” Price said. “I started playing at a young age, but watching a lot of film has helped my court vision a lot.”
Price and Ford are great facilitators, but they can score – sometimes at will. Ford, who is LaRue County’s second all-time leading scorer with more than 1,600, is averaging an area-best 22.9 points per game followed by Price at 17.8 a game.
LaRue County coach Paul Childress said Ford and Price’s ascension to two of the region’s top players hasn’t happened by chance.
“Kelton has worked hard and he’s gotten better every year,” Childress said. “He has a lot of natural ability, but he’s put in the time and worked to get where he is now. Some players blessed with natural ability don’t want to put the extra time in and they don’t want to be playing as much as they can.
“I’ve watched Brandon the last three years and Brandon’s a winner,” he added. “Most people probably underestimate him because of his size. That’s probably motivated him and has made him work hard. He has a big heart and a big motor. That’s what makes them the two best point guards is how hard they work at it.”
Price and Ford shared 5th Region Player of the Year honors. But the awards mean little to the duo. They are more concerned with their teams and helping them to deep postseason runs – ones that might cross paths again like last season when John Hardin won, 84-78.
“When we both step on the court, all that matters is winning,” Price said. “If we have to score 30, that’s what we’ll do. If we need 30 assists, we’ll do that. Watch him play and it’s the same as watching me. Our games are identical because we both just want to win.”
Chuck Jonescan be reached at (270) 505-1759 or email@example.com.