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Harriman seniors Darius Gallaher and Dimitrique Inman have spent a good portion of their life playing basketball together.
Now the duo will have at least two more years together as last week both players signed scholarship papers with Roane State Community College.
“I’m pretty excited,” Gallaher said “I love playing basketball and I look forward to continuing my career. My goal since I started high school was to play in college and getting to play with Dimitrique makes it that much better. We’ve been playing together since we were five and it’s good to already know someone on the team that you have chemistry with.”
“I’m happy,” added Inman, who chose basketball over college football. “I didn’t plan on playing basketball, but I went to a work out with them and it really went well. It’s going to be good playing with Darius because we know each other so well.”
Friday’s signing was extra special for Blue Devil head coach Jeff King because Gallaher and Inman were a part of Harriman’s program before their high school career started. Gallaher is the son of Harriman assistant coach Willie Gallaher and he along with Inman were always hanging around the gym.
“These two are two peas in a pod,” King said. “They’re like sons to me. You could tell at an early age that they had a passion for it. They used to go with us to team camps just to watch. I think a lot of credit goes to Coach Gallaher for coaching them in middle school. They learned to do things the correct way before they even got here.”
Learning to do things the correct way also meant learning to put the team first. Both players had the ability to score 20 points a game in high school, but both players were also at their best giving up the basketball as both averaged more than five assists per game.
“These guys epitomize what you want as a coach,” King said. “We were blessed in having two points guards on the floor that didn’t care who got the credit as long as we won games. They are the ultimate team players.”
“I like getting everybody involved,” Gallaher added. “Not having to score as much has made us well-rounded. I think that’s made us better players.”
“I think my passing is the best part of my game,” Inman said. “Coach taught us early that if we would be willing to give the ball up that we would get it back.”
Inman’s and Gallaher’s all-around game is something that caught the eye of Raiders head coach Randy Nesbit, and he believes their ability to do more than score is something that will help them adjust to college basketball.
“They both have a good feel for the game,” Nesbit said. “At this level you might not be able to score a lot every night. You have to have team players that look for other guys and these guys see the floor so well.”
Nesbit also believes Coach King and his staff have prepared Gallaher and Inman for a college style program.
“They’re used to working hard and they’re used to structure. That’s going to help them,” Nesbit said. “They’re coming from a program where everything is done for a reason and that will help them at our level.”
Another thing that will help Gallaher and Inman at the next level is their ability on defense. At most schools, good offensive players are sometimes allowed to rest on defense, but Harriman’s philosophy was always defense first and being able to defend is something both must do if they want see playing time at the next level.
“I think we’ll have an advantage over some of the other freshmen,” Inman said. “Coach King preached defense to us for four years and we knew that we had to play hard defense if we wanted to play.”
“They have a good defensive background and they have a good understanding how important team defense is,” Nesbit added. “I think they’ll fit well into a team system and that’s something that can’t be overestimated.”
While Gallaher and Inman have a lot going for them heading into college, there is still going to be an adjustment period and things to work on before school starts in August.
“I’ve got to keep working on everything,” Gallaher said. “I’ve got to get stronger and faster for the college game.”
“I think the biggest thing they’ll have to work on is their shooting ability,” Nesbit added. “In high school, you can sometimes get by without a true jump shot, but for the college game you have to have a real jump shot. They’ll need to spend a lot of time this summer working on technique and accuracy, but they both know how to work and I expect them to work their tails off.”
“They’ll have to fine tune some things at the next level, but that’s something that Coach Nesbit does a great job with,” King added. “I expect big things from both of them. Coach Nesbit will make them both better than they ever were for us.”