Published 11:01 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

Goshen's Deangelo Orum and Marquese Christian are brothers off the court and teammates on the court.

Goshen’s Deangelo Orum and Marquese Christian are brothers off the court and teammates on the court.

Goshen’s Deangelo Orum, Marquese Christian know each other’s game well

Looking at the Goshen High School basketball team, it’s a little hard to believe that Deangelo Orum and Marquese Christian are cousins. But, if you take their word for it, they are even closer than that—they are brothers.

Orum has lived with the Christian family for the past 10 years, and all that time spent bonding with Marquese off the court has translated to chemistry on the court. “Sometimes it can be hard playing with Marquese,” Orum said. “But, I always know what he’s going to do. We’re brothers. We’re going to fuss with one another and have our disagreements.”

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Marquese agreed with Orum. “We make a pretty good team.” Christian said. “He loves to shoot the ball. I love to pass the ball. If I’m ever in a tough situation on the court, I always look for him. I know he’ll come and bail me out.”

Deangelo, now a senior, and Marquese, now a sophomore, have not played on the same basketball team since Orum was a freshman. At the beginning of the year, it seemed like the two would never play competitively with one another again. Deangelo was planning to spend his senior season at Goshen, while Marquese began the year enrolled at Pike Liberal Arts.

Over the Christmas break, however, Marquese transferred to Goshen and joined the basketball team. “I was happy when Marquese came back,” Orum said. “I wanted him to come back last year. I love playing with Marquese because he’s an unselfish player. He loves to pass me the ball.”

While it was a tough decision, Marquese is ultimately glad that he has the opportunity to play during Deangelo’s final season. “It was real tough deciding to leave Pike,” Christian said. “I loved Rush [Hixon], Chandler [Avant], Brian [Adams] and all my teammates. But, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play with Chub. I have good chemistry with all my teammates at Goshen. I feel like we’re quicker than any team in the state.”

Both agreed that Marquese is the more vocal of the pair. “You would think that Deangelo would talk more on the court since he’s older, but I’m more vocal,” Christian said. “Since I’m the point guard, I have to direct the offense and the defense.”

Deangelo provides his brother with a calming influence on the floor. “When you’re younger, you let little things get to you,” Orum said. “I try to keep Marquese level-headed. He may hate me for a while, but he knows I’m right when I calm him down.”

Goshen coach Johnny Mitchell said have siblings on a team is a normal experience at a small school like Goshen. “I’ve had siblings on the same team before,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes siblings can be one another’s harshest critics. Deangelo and Marquese get along well, though. I haven’t head too much razzing going on like me and my brothers used to do.”

Mitchell agreed with the brothers’ assessments of each other. “Deangelo, being older, likes to give Marquese advice,” Mitchell said. “Marquese can be a little bit harsher when he talks to Deangelo.”

Mitchell praised the boys’ parents for raising such well-behaved boys. “Both Marquese and Deangelo are well-mannered and polite,” Mitchell said. “They were raised well. Marquese’s mom has five children in the house—all boys. They have done a good job raising them.”

Incorporating Marquese in to the Goshen offense has been little trouble for Mitchell. “Marquese was at Pike last year, but he had been at Goshen before that,” Mitchell said. “He has always had a good relationship with his teammates. It’s been a pretty easy mix. We haven’t had any chemistry problems. It’s been as smooth as you can ask for.”

If the Eagles want to compete for a state title, they’ll need both brothers to be on top of their game for the rest of the season.