Bullis School basketball players Anthony Thompson and Jamaal Greenwood received identical No. 5 jerseys for the team's Rock Summer League season. One player would have to stick a piece of tape over the bottom left opening in the numeral to turn it into a 6.
Determining which of the two would be forced to wear the unkempt uniform took no discussion. Both know their place.
“Seniority,” Thompson said. “I'm the vet.”
Said Greenwood: “There was no point in arguing. He's the team captain, the senior.”
Thompson, a rising senior from Glenn Dale who has committed to Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., is Bullis' point guard and top player. Greenwood, a junior from Largo, transferred from Georgetown Prep. So Thompson clearly has the upper hand when it comes to comes to any decision-making.
“He's our everything,” Bullis summer-league coach Clinton Perrow said. “He makes the offense go. He makes the defensive calls.”
Greenwood, who possesses a bigger frame than Thompson, brings another element to the table.
“Athleticism and just a real hustle guy,” Perrow said. “He really gets after it, and we really like him.”
It's not coincidence Thompson and Greenwood fit so well together. They're cousins — though they don't know exactly how.
“Kind of distant,” Greenwood said. “We're related in some way.”
When they were younger, they played together and against each other — often at once.
“We competed in everything — shooting lines, layup lines, everything possible,” Greenwood said.
That competition obviously continued as they met in Interstate Athletic Conference games, Greenwood with Georgetown Prep and Thompson with Bullis. But they're happier having joined forces.
Perhaps, the biggest dividend their new partnership will pay is the savvy Thompson helping Greenwood, whom he's played with for years.
“I know what he can do,” Thompson said.
“Every time I do something that's outside of my game, he's telling me what to do, to just calm down, attack the basket,” Greenwood said. “He's always been there for me, and he still is now. So, everything's going well.”
Greenwood clarifies that's no slight to Georgetown Prep.
“I was really good friends with all the dudes at Prep,” Greenwood said. “This is my family.”