Peninsula brothers share love of basketball

Preps: McLaughlin brothers push each other to be better

of the GatewayJanuary 1, 2014 

Peninsula High School senior guard O’Shea McLaughlin, left, takes the court with his brother, sophomore JaQuori McLaughlin, in a December game against the Puyallup Vikings.

JON MANLEY/GATEWAY PHOTO

When siblings play together on the same team, there is generally a higher level of chemistry and camaraderie. It helps to pave the way for increased understanding when the McLaughlins play together on the playground, in front of the house, at the park, or when they simply spend time together.

The Peninsula High School boys basketball team boasts the sibling duo of senior guard O’Shea McLaughlin and sophomore guard JaQuori McLaughlin.

O’Shea previously lived with his mother and didn’t play much basketball. He moved in with his dad when he was in eighth grade, and he had some catching up to do.

“Freshman year, when I was just starting to play basketball, we were training every day,” O’Shea said. “I was constantly getting better. We would wake up early in the summer and play from 7 to 12.”

O’Shea was excited to play varsity basketball with his brother last year, but it wasn’t mean to be. A torn labrum sidelined him for the season.

Now he’s enjoying his first full season with his brother.

“It’s a great experience my senior year to finally play with him,” O’Shea said. “It’s fun. We’re young, but I think we’re gonna make it far.”

JaQuori said their practice together outside of school has helped the high school team.

“We train together, we do everything together,” he said. “We have a pretty good chemistry together when we get on the court.”

While JaQuori grabs the headlines — he’s already committed to play basketball at Oregon State University — he had high praise for O’Shea, calling him a high-energy player.

“He’s our spark,” JaQuori said. “When he gets on the floor, it brings everyone’s energy up. His defense is the best on the team.”

The brothers say they haven’t played one-on-one in a couple years, except when they go up against each other in practice. O’Shea used to beat up on his little brother, but JaQuori has caught up.

“When I was younger and bigger, I got the win,” O’Shea said. “Now that he’s more skilled, it’s a lot better of a game now.”

Not surprisingly, one-on-one games between the two get heated. O’Shea is proud of his younger brother and uses his notoriety as motivation to improve.

“I’m proud of him,” O’Shea said. “He’s worked hard. He earns every second of this. It influences me to get better on my game.”

Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at jon.manley@gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.

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