Will Christmas (left) is a point guard for Oceanside, while Quen Meadows is a leaper who can play above the rim for El Camino.
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OCEANSIDE — They’re bitter crosstown rivals, one wearing the green and white of Oceanside, the other the brown and gold of El Camino.
When not playing high school basketball, they compete for rival club teams — one for Coastal Elite, the other for Gamepoint.
But at the end of the day, when practices and games are over — such as last week when they were forced to guard each other — brothers Will Christmas of Oceanside and Quen Meadows of El Camino end up at the same home.
The boys aren’t related by blood. Will’s father Francis, a retired Marine, and Quen’s mother Tren live together and are part of a blended family that includes baby sister Reyana.
The bothers call her “a blessing.”
“Basketball is how our folks met,” Will said. “Quen and I were at a lot of the same events. Our parents met, and we saw the connection, saw a spark.
“When they got together, Quen and I welcomed the idea.”
Will and Quen, both seniors, have known each other since eighth grade.
They chose different roads for high school. The 6-foot-4 Quen picking El Camino because of its basketball tradition. The 6-5 Will taking his game to Oceanside, which is known as a football school.
Quen tried to persuade Will to join him at El Camino, “but I had too much invested in Oceanside,” Will said.
“El Camino has a great program, and I didn’t know where I’d fit in. At Oceanside, I’m a leader, a go-to guy.
“I embrace the responsibility.”
Will, a point guard, averaged 20.3 points, 8.3 rebounds 2.7 assists and 3.3 steals a game last season for a team that finished 12-16.
“In my opinion, Will can be the best player in the county,” said Oceanside coach Cameron Clark. “He has grown to 6-5 and has the wingspan of a guy 6-10.
“He’s a true point guard, who has great vision and great range.”
Quen is a jumping jack with a 40-inch vertical leap.
Last year with Devin Watson (now at Santa Clara) at the point, El Camino ran several, backdoor, rim-shattering, alley-oops to Quen.
“He attacks the rim as well as anyone in San Diego,” said El Camino coach Tom Tarantino. “Plus, he’s one of the best defenders in the area.
“And he has emerged as a shooting threat.”
Neither player has a college scholarship offer yet, but both are good students and the coaches are confident offers will come.
“This is my senior year, and it’s kind of humbling,” Will said. “I’d like to have a college scholarship locked up, but I’ll use not having one as motivation.
“I really embrace being ‘the guy’ on this team. I had a great mentor in Justin Gilbert when I was a freshman, so from day one, I wanted to be a leader. I don’t ever want to look back and say I didn’t give every game everything I had.
“I want to be as good as I can be, and if I work hard enough, if Quen works hard enough, people will see we can play at the next level.”
Quen’s former coach — Ray Johnson — is now an assistant at Loyola Marymount. So he knows what Quen can do.
But Quen knows he has to do it again this season.
“Will and I are starting to get some attention, and that’s really good,” Quen said. “We’re great friends. We support each other in everything we do.
“We’re both leaders. Imanni Sobers was my role model when I was young. He was the guy who showed me the ropes.”
When El Camino played at Oceanside last week, the Wildcats came away with an 85-60 win. The teams will meet again Jan. 7 at El Camino.
“Will and I try to get to each other’s games when we can,” Quen said. “We sit down and talk at the dinner table when our schedules permit.
“We want nothing but the best for each other. It would be great if we both get college scholarships.”
Quen’s mother Tren was a nervous wreck before last week’s game when “her boys” matched up against each other.
She chose to sit close to the scorer’s bench and wear neutral colors, not taking a side.
“We’re really so blessed,” Tren said. “You never know what will happen when you fall in love. But for these boys to be such good players, such good friends, such good people … you couldn’t ask for anything more.”