WHITEHOUSE - McKade Marquis faced a big decision.
The Whitehouse High School senior could suit up as an Apache and play for his father, Mike Marquis, the head basketball coach at Tyler Junior College - something he dreamt about since picking up a basketball.
Or he could venture out after his prep career concluded to attend a Division I school.
On Wednesday, he opted for the latter, signing to play basketball with the University of Texas at Arlington, a Sun Belt Conference school.
McKade inked his letter in front of family, friends, teammates and coaches during the ceremony at Wildcat Arena, where the 3-point specialist has drained many long-range treys.
â€śReally, the only tough decision was whether or not I would play for my dad,â€ť the younger Marquis said. â€śWe talked about it and discussed it and we thought signing with UTA was the best path for me.
â€śI always thought and dreamed about playing for my dad.â€ť
McKade had grown up at Wagstaff Gymnasium, watching his fatherâ€™s teams, being a ball boy and, of course, taking shots during halftimes and after games. Plus, his older brother, Mitch, had played for TJC.
He felt UTA and coach Scott Crossâ€™s Mavericks were right for him.
â€śIt is a little surreal,â€ť McKade said. â€śIt is an emotional day for my family â€¦ to work so hard all these years and see my dream come true. â€¦ Itâ€™s fun to see how it worked out.â€ť
Before signing his letter with his father and mother, Kris, at the table at Wildcat Arena, McKade thanked, â€śGod, my parents, my whole family, my teammates and friends, and coach (Brent) Kelly (Whitehouse head coach).â€ť
Marquis noted the excitement around the UTA program, a Mavericks team that knocked off Texas last year and defeated Oklahoma, 99-84, in an exhibition game Oct. 28 in Norman, Oklahoma.
â€śThere is so much energy surround UTA,â€ť Marquis said. â€śIt is a great program in a great city with great people and a great arena (College Park Center). The coaching staff is awesome. â€¦ Iâ€™m excited to get there. Coach Cross (who played at TJC) and his staff got to know me and they wanted me to be part of the program as a person, not just a player.â€ť
Before heading off to college, thereâ€™s the matter of his senior season.
â€śWe have a lot of returners and the younger players will make a difference, too,â€ť McKade said. â€śI think we will have a pretty good year.â€ť