Brothers Clovis Gallon Jr. and Cameron Gallon talk after York High's win over New Oxford in the York-Adams League tournament championship. JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
When Clovis Gallon Jr. was in fourth grade, he asked his father to be his basketball coach.
“Are you sure?” asked his father, Clovis Gallon Sr.
“You always coach the big guys, Dad,” Gallon Sr. recalls his son saying. “When are you going to coach me?”
Nine years later, Gallon Sr. and his son are York-Adams League champions, with Gallon Jr. as York High’s star player.
“To see him come out like this and have the season he’s had and win like this on this floor is a beautiful thing,” said Gallon Sr. after York High’s 54-50 win over New Oxford in the Y-A League tournament championship game last Friday. “I’m happy for him.”
Gallon Jr., who is fifth in the league with around 20 points per game as a senior, scored seven points in the win at York College’s Charles Wolf Gymnasium.
“I’ve dreamed of this day for my whole life,” Gallon Jr. said. “I’ve been sitting in those stands, envisioning myself on that court, getting the gold medal and cutting the net down. This means a lot to me and my family.”
The undervalued Gallon: While Gallon Jr. is York High’s top player, it was another Gallon who played a large role as a scorer in the Bearcats’ win. Cameron Gallon, a junior guard and Gallon Jr.’s younger brother, scored 11 points, shooting 4 of 6 from the field and making two 3-pointers. Gallon and Marquise McClean (14 points) were the only two Bearcats in double figures.
“Cameron has always been a gamer,” Gallon Sr. said. “He’s always made big plays. I’m not surprised about his output tonight at all.”
Cameron Gallon was a bench player for the Bearcats until January, when Gallon Sr. inserted him into the starting lineup. He said when teams focus on his older brother, it gives scoring opportunities to other players such as himself, Dayvon Cortez and Jaevon Woodyard. In the title game, the Colonials took away Gallon Jr., who took only three shots from the field.
“I feel like when everyone is focused on him, that I can play a huge role,” Cameron Gallon said. “If he makes the extra pass, someone else will be open. Today, I was that guy.”
Gallon Jr. said he’s “proud” of his younger brother for his performance.
“I’m tough on him. I see a lot that he has inside of him, just like my dad sees a lot in me. I’m like another dad to him,” Gallon Jr. said. “I’m happy for him. I’m sure he’s been waiting for this moment the whole season. He’s a role player, and nobody looks at him as a key player on the team. He stepped up today.”
In important games, top players will sometimes force shots. That’s not what Gallon Jr. did on Friday. Despite only scoring seven points on three attempts from the field, Gallon Jr. grabbed several key rebounds and assisted the bucket that put the Bearcats up five points late in the game. He also made two key free throws at the end of the game.
“Everybody on the team can score. We’ve got a lot of weapons,” Gallon Jr. said. “Teams can’t stop that. If you’re keying on me or Marquise, someone will step up.”
Relationship wasn’t always easy: The win was extra special for Gallon Sr., who said his relationship with Gallon Jr. has come “full circle.”
He said coaching his oldest son used to “put a strain on our relationship.”
“He couldn’t distinguish between coach and dad, and my issue was I couldn’t distinguish between coach and dad either,” Gallon Sr. said. “Sometimes I was in coach mode, and he wanted me to be his dad.”
Recently, however, the two have been able to separate the two. Gallon Jr., who was a McDonald’s All-American Game nominee, has developed into one of the best players in the state.
“We’ve come a long way,” Gallon Sr. said. “As we grew over the years, we’ve come full circle. It’s a much healthier relationship. I’m not going home and berating him if he’s having a bad game. I understand how to distinguish between the two now.”
“When I was younger, I didn’t understand,” Gallon Jr. said. “I used to think he was too hard on me, but I’m supposed to expect that because he’s my father. He sees a lot of potential in me. He just wants the best for me.”
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.