Photo: Marvin Pfeiffer /Staff Photographer
Image 1 1
During girls basketball season, Kennedy coach Amado Luis was peppered with questions about his three leading scorers — all of whom were named Vallerie.
Luis assured observers that his three-of-a-kind hand was exactly what it appeared. Although it seemed implausible for a third of his roster to be related, DeShawn, Sensation and Treasure Vallerie all were sisters.
“It was cool,” Luis said. “This is my 14th year as a coach and I’ve never had it before. When I was coaching boys, I never had three brothers. And they have a sister (Serenity) who’s a seventh grader, so I may have it again.”
As a freshman, Treasure averaged 9.2 points a game as the Rockets’ point guard. She was chosen as the District 26-5A newcomer of the year.
“The district is brutal,” Luis said. “The amount of talent on that (all-district) board was amazing.”
Sophomore Sensation was Kennedy’s best low-post scorer. She averaged 8.7 points a game and was a second-team all-district pick. Senior Deshawn was a 26-5A honorable mention, carrying a 5.3 average.
“I knew Treasure would be a good point guard,” Deshawn said. “She plays all year in AAU, so I knew she’d be a good fit for Kennedy.
“It was a good senior year for me. We’ve had great guard play the last two years with my sisters. And I got to play with the girls I’ve been playing with since I was a freshman. I felt like it was a very good season.”
Kennedy (4-28, 2-14) finished eighth in its district after being winless in 26-5A in 2018-19.
“It was great watching them play,” said Terry McNeil, the girls’ mother. “They played well together. They tried to go out with a bang.”
Jeremy McNeil, the girls’ father, helped Syracuse win the NCAA men’s basketball championship in 2003. He was an Adidas all-American at Sam Houston and played for four professional basketball teams.
Sensation said she modeled her game after Jeremy’s. He coached each of the girls when they were growing up and still works with them.
“My dad played college basketball and he wanted us to do the same,” Sensation said. “He helped me with (post moves) around the basket.”
The Vallerie sisters aspired to qualify for state in track when the season was suspended in mid-March.
Treasure ran the lead leg on the Rockets’ 400-meter relay and handed off to Rianna Anthony. Sensation and Deshawn brought the baton home.
“Our handoffs and our speed was good,” Deshawn said. “Treasure fit right in with us. I knew she’d be fast on that first leg.”
Sensation and Treasure are tied for the fourth-fastest 100-meter time on Kennedy’s all-time list (12.84). Sensation is third (27.27) and Deshawn fourth (27.30) in the 200.
“I actually really liked it,” Treasure said. “My dad helped get us more prepared.”
Deshawn is hoping to continue her athletic career in either basketball or track.
“It’s going to be hard to replace Deshawn,” Luis said.
Sensation and Treasure will be counted on to help replace their sister’s leadership.
“My plan is that Treasure is going to be my leader,” Luis said. “She was really positive with her teammates.
“Sensation is really strong and athletic. She’s going to be good the next couple of years.”
The Rockets should have several multi-Vallerie years ahead.