When Tribune Dailey, Jr., started playing organized basketball, from day one he had a tag-along.
It was his little sister, Sasha Dailey.
“We started playing when he was in fourth grade and I was in third,” Sasha said. “We played in the Y league. I didn’t play with the girls. I played on the boys team.”
“We learned basketball from [youth coach] Richard Duck,” Tribune said. “He worked with us and trained us when we were little kids. He taught us how to shoot and how to dribble and how to play the game.”
Eight years later, Tribune and Sasha remain connected by basketball, and these days they are part of the best combined boys-girls era in Rogers’ history.
Tribune is a high-flying 6-foot-5 senior forward for the Rams’ boys team. Sasha is a 5-8 junior guard for the Rogers girls, who are considered a contender for the Division II state championship this season.
Neither is the marquee player for their respective teams.
Those perches belong to senior guard Clemmye Owens for the boys, and to senior guard Cha’Ron Sweeney for the girls.
But Rogers’ Dailey Double is a big part of the success both Rams teams have enjoyed the past two years.
Each team won its first City League championship last season, with the girls also later advancing to the D-II regional semifinals. In 2010-11, the Rogers boys reached the D-II state semifinals.
Tribune joined the boys starting lineup last season, contributing 6.1 rebounds per game for a 16-5 Rams team.
Sasha has started on the varsity since the first game of her freshman year. Last season she earned first-team All-City League honors after averaging 14.2 points and 4.4 rebounds for a 20-5 Rams team.
Basketball may be Sasha’s second best sport. As a freshman in 2011, she and then-junior hurdler Brianna Scott-Glover led Rogers to a D-II state team runner-up finish in track and field.
For her part, Dailey placed second in the 200-meter dash, fourth in the 100-meter dash, and ran a leg on the Rams’ second-place 800-meter relay team.
But basketball is Sasha Dailey’s favorite sport, and she skipped track last spring as a sophomore because she “needed a break” from her two-sport demands.
This season, Sasha is averaging 11 points and five rebounds while helping the Rams to a 7-2 start overall (5-0 CL).
“Sasha is best for us when she’s in an attack mode,” Rams coach Lamar Smith said. “She’s very dangerous attacking the basket in transition. When she utilizes her speed, she’s real good going to the basket. She can penetrate and elevate.
“Her niche is just all-around team play. She does a lot for us. She’s a hard worker and she’s a captain. She can do it all — play defense, rebound, and get her teammates involved.”
For his part, brother Tribune, whose name often evokes comments from his friends, is contributing 13.5 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Rogers boys, who are 5-2 overall (4-0 CL).
“They call me ‘The Paperboy,’ or tell me I ‘deliver the news,’ ” Tribune said of the jokes about his name. “My dad’s name is Tribune. They named him that because of [it fitting] the last name.”
“Tribune is good at all parts of the game,” Rogers boys coach Earl Morris said, “and the good thing is he hasn’t reached his potential yet. Once he realizes how good he can be, he’s going to be a real good ballplayer after he leaves here.”
So, who is the better player, brother or sister?
“He’s better at his position and I’m better at mine,” Sasha said. “He’s better at dunking. I like the one he had against Start.”
Sasha was referring to an awe-inspiring throw-down by her brother over a Start defender in the first quarter of Rogers’ 101-83 win Dec. 18 over the Spartans.
“I’ve seen a lot of dunks from him,” Morris said, “and you’re going to see a whole lot more. That’s what gets us going, and that’s what gets him going.”
“If you look at it, I’d say Sasha’s better on her team than I am on mine,” Tribune conceded. “But, I can still beat her one-on-one.
“She can shoot, she can drive, and she’s strong. I helped her get stronger, and taught her to attack the rim.”
Both Daileys plan on continuing their basketball careers at the college level, although neither has decided on where.
“Sasha is a great player, and she hasn’t reached her potential yet either,” said Morris, who also follows the girls team. “They can both go Division I [college]. It’s up to them, whether or not they will continue to put the hard work in.”
“I’ve been coaching Sasha since the fourth grade,” Smith said. “She is a phenomenal athlete. I knew back then that she was going to be very special. Basketball is her first love. Track is just something she does extra.
“I watched Tribune grow up also. I tease him all the time that Sasha could’ve used a little bit of his height. She jumps well for a girl, but she doesn’t dunk like her brother.”
As brother and sister have pursued their own basketball trails, they have remained close.
“Whenever we’re together alone, that’s all we do is play basketball,” Tribune said.
“We’re not as close as we used to be, but we still make time for each other,” Sasha said. “We always get along.”
“What we’re doing right now is good because we’re going to have good memories,” Tribune said of he and Sasha being linked to Rogers’ basketball success. “We look forward to the challenge.”
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 419-724-6461 or on Twitter@JungaBlade.