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I-Meck 4A rivalry a family affair
Father, son square off in North Meck-Vance
 
Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 9:01 am
by Herbert L. White

Troy Whitehurst and his son Kahlil Robinson will be on opposite benches when Vance and North Mecklenburg square off in an I-Meck 4A game on Friday.


Whitehurst is Vance’s junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant. Robinson is a junior guard at North Mecklenburg. 
“It has been interesting to see him (Kahlil) progress and grow as a student athlete,” Whitehurst said. “I always knew he had talent he just had to find it and believe that he could do it.”


Last year Robinson was on North’s junior varsity, so father and son faced off twice. Vance won both games.
“It was fun to compete against each other,” Robinson said. “It’s just like when we go to the Y or play in the park, it’s all love afterwards, but during the game it’s about getting the win.”


Whitehurst, who coached his son in youth leagues, still talks basketball with Robinson, but primarily as a parent.


“I started coaching basketball when Kahlil was younger and he has even played on my CCA Tarheels AAU team,” Whitehurst said, “but I think that it is good at this stage in his career to learn from other coaches.”


Said Robinson: “Playing varsity at North Meck has helped a lot in improving my game, learning about life lessons through the game, and being a part of a great team. Coach (Duane) Lewis has taught me how to work hard, about teamwork, and how to put forth maximum effort, the same as my dad, but just different.”


One of Robinson’s best games of the season was a 12-point effort against Independence in a 69-57 loss. He’s looking for better results against Vance, one of the I-Meck’s top teams along with state power West Charlotte.


“Every game you have something to play for, but it means more when we play Vance and in our home it’s a big rivalry, so there is more pressure to perform,” Robinson said. “My mom has a ton of Vikings gear and (Whitehurst) has a bunch of orange and blue Cougar stuff. They are competitive when it comes to that as well.”


That competitiveness will be at its height when the family gets together for bragging rights. Father and son will be on opposite sides, but wish the other well – to a point.


“It would be good for us to be on the same team but we have both been blessed with the opportunities to compete and have different experiences at our respective schools,” Whitehurst said. “As I told Kahlil and my wife last year I want the best for him in all that he does and I know that his team will have success, but there will be two games that he has a little trouble” – when Vance and North play each other.

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