WXXV Student Athletes of the Week: Vancleave’s Kam and Kade Medlen

Vancleave’s Kam and Kade Medlen are this week’s Student Athletes of the Week. They are another set of twins who are double the trouble in double the sports.

“We’ve played basketball since we were about three or four years old… nonstop so basically our whole lives.” Kam and Kade Medlen are seniors on the Vancleave High School basketball team, Kam being the point guard and Kade playing both small and power forward. The fraternal twins truly have a love for the game, but also the lifelong lessons it teaches them. “It’s taught me a lot about family. What it means to have a family and who’s going to be there for you and everything. A lot of these kids, we have six seniors now…we’ve all been playing together since the seventh grade. Some of us started playing in the sixth grade.”

Ever since the Medlen’s were freshmen on the team, they’ve been lead by Head Boys Basketball Coach Liam Openshaw. Kade says Coach O has taught them a lot about life on the hardwood, but even more about life off the court. “You have to take outside of basketball, and you have to apply that to real life. He always tells us that we’re going to be men one day. We’re going to be the leaders of our household, so we’ve gotta take what we learn now and use it to our advantage in the future.”

After spending as much time as Coach O does with the Medlen’s he claims the two boys as two of his own. “They are obviously great athletes. They both excel in the classroom, but they are two of the most exceptional people that I have ever been around. A lot of time as coaches, we want our character to rub off on them, but I have to say in this case the way that they carry themselves has rubbed off not just on their teammates but on myself and all those they come in contact with, so I’m just thankful and blessed to see them grow and be a part of their journey.”

But they are brothers after all and sharing a court with a sibling definitely comes with its own perks, but also tough love. “That means we get to yell at each other a lot more than you can yell at other people, because we can get mad at each other and it’s really not a big deal. He yells at me all the time.”

“It’s brotherly love.”

The twins realize that being tough on one another and competing together all these years has made them into better people and athletes. “We’re always competing with each other so it’s definitely been a big factor on how we’ve gotten to where we are today, so we’re always just fighting with each other.”

“But we’re able to just drop it after practice. After practice we could care less. I mean we’ll go home and talk about it, but it doesn’t affect the rest of our day.”

As if the Medlen’s weren’t already busy enough, the twins also run track for the Bulldogs. Kade runs the 800 meter and the boys relay, while Kam runs the 400 meter and competes in boys triple jump. Kam currently holds the school record in triple jump with 43 feet 5 inches and a quarter.

With both of their mindsets and determination, the Medlen’s futures are sure to be bright. “My dream is to play a college sport. I’d rather it be track… I love basketball but I’m best at track. I’ve talked to a few people here and there, but that’s what I want to do is continue my athletic career in college.”

“My dream is getting my college paid for. Whether that be academics or sports, either way I’ll take it.”

Their success both on and off the track and basketball courts is enough to prove they deserve a lot of recognition, but their grandmother making absolutely sure they receive that high praise by submitting her nomination through a hand-written letter to News 25. “Oh, it means the world. I mean what other grandma will write a hand-written letter and send it to the news station to get their grandkids on TV. When I get home, I know I’m going to give her the biggest hug. Tell her thank you, thank you for the opportunity.”

“Definitely our biggest supporters are our family, especially her. She just made it to one of our games this year which she’s always wanted to. It was pretty nice to see her up in the stands watching us.”

The Bulldogs will head to East Central High School this Friday for its next regular season game.

Categories: Student Athlete of the Week