TULSA — No player bought into Midwest City coach Dewayne Bradley's team-first preaching more than Cornell Neal.
So over the summer, when Neal got the chance to take part in events like Thursday's All-State boys basketball game at Oral Roberts, Neal knew he was representing his entire Bomber team.
And he did it well.
Neal had a game-high 16 points to lead the Large West to an 89-85 win at the Mabee Center, scoring 11 points during a second-half rally.
“The way he plays, he's so unselfish. He's indicative of our team concept, and he believed in it from the start,” Bradley said. “He's looking to share the ball, but he'll shoot it if he's got the chance, and he'll try to guard somebody. It's the way he played all year, and he was still doing it out here tonight.”
Neal, a 5-foot-10 guard who averaged 16 points per game during the season, has signed with Northern Oklahoma College in Enid to continue his basketball career.
Though he was the only Bomber on the floor, Neal felt at home with his Large West teammates all week.
“Most of the guys, they played like we do at Midwest City,” he said. “We had a lot of guys who were real unselfish, so we noticed in practice that we had real good chemistry.”
And it wasn't just their playing style that bred familiarity for Neal and his teammates.
“A lot of us played together when we were little, so it was like a reuniting,” he said with a laugh. “At least about seven of those guys I played with when we were younger. It made it real fun.”