Like his uncle before him, Madison High School senior guard Marquis Borney has earned all-state recognition in Illinois and helped the Trojans reach the state basketball tournament.
Borney still doesn't have any 50-point games like his well-known uncle, former Madison and Oklahoma State standout Maurice Baker.
But he has a shot at something Baker never accomplished --bringing a state championship back to Madison.
"After my junior season last year, he sat me down," said Borney, one of Baker's two nephews on the team along with younger brother and junior guard Tyvon Powers. "He told me that this was my senior year and I had to come out more aggressive, score more and do everything I could to help us win. That's what I've been trying to do."
After averaging 5.9 points as a junior, Borney heeded his uncle's advice. He's the Trojans' top scorer at 19 points and 10 rebounds a game, still a fierce rebounder and shut-down defender and perhaps the primary reason Madison has a shot at its first state title since 1981.
Borney learned Thursday he was a first-team all-state selection.
"My junior year we lost the first game at state," recalled Baker, now a starting guard for Santa Cruz in the NBA Developmental League. "We just made it to state, we didn't make any noise. We got caught up in the moment."
Baker hopes his nephews have a better state tournament experience.
"A state championship? That's the plan," Baker said. "It's pretty special for those two guys to go to state together. We used to get up early in the morning and I'd tried to instill in them what I went through in the college and pros. "
Baker has been teaching his nephews the game of basketball since they could walk. Their mother, LaTonya Baker, took care of raising her sons and stressing education.
"If we're not doing good in school, there's no way my mom's going to let me on the court," Borney said.
Maurice Baker sees a different level of confidence in Borney this season and now Division III, NAIA and junior colleges are showing recruiting interest.
"I see a lot of myself in him," Baker said. "I told him you just can't be good at one of end of the court, you have to rebound, you have to score ... whatever you have to do to help your team win a game."
Madison coach Jaime Cotto has seen Baker working with his nephews and has seen a much different side of Borney this season.
"As a sophomore he played JV and he was kind of tentative," Cotto said. "Even last year he was tentative offensively. We would actually beg him to shoot more because every time a game would end, he was like 2-of-3 or 3-of-4. He was the kind of kid last year that would only shoot it if he was completely wide open."
That's a far different player than the one dropping a crucial 3-pointer on Payson-Seymour at the Jacksonville Super-Sectional on Tuesday on the way to a 27-point night.
"He's the type of kid that right now with everything he shoots, he thinks it's going in," Cotto said. "I'd definitely rank him in the top five talents that I've had here. We've had great guards and I'd put him there with all of them."
Cotto has a hard time recognizing Borney as the same skinny underclassman who wouldn't have reminded anyone of a dominant player.
"Most of the time you see that dramatic jump from sophomore to junior year, but I've never been around a kid that changed this much and got so much better," Cotto said. "He was very thin before and he's probably put on 20 pounds."
When Borney and Powers were in grade school, they would make trips to Oklahoma State to visit their All-Big 12 Conference uncle. They saw games, explored the dressing room and enjoyed their time on campus.
"We got to go to a lot of games, practice in the gym with him, be in the dorms with the team," Borney said. "It was a lot of fun. Just seeing him working hard and seeing how far he's' made it makes me want to follow in his footsteps."
Baker is in the middle of his NBA D-League season, but talks with his nephews before and after many of their games.
"I just wanted them to love basketball the way I love basketball, because basketball kept me off the streets," Baker said. "I was trying to get them to see there was more than Madison, to give them another option in life."
As his nephews got older, Baker would bring them along to play in summer games against a collection of former college and pro players or just top-notch talent from the city.
"He'd bring some of his friends and we'd go at it," Borney said. "It was extremely hard playing against those talented guys."
When it came to guarding Borney, Baker used a "no-mercy" approach.
"I used to push him and foul him," Baker said. "I know a lot of tricks because I'm older now and I told him to play through it and don't be frustrated. It was good for him to play like that because he got a lot of confidence."
After practice this week, Borney gazed into the Madison trophy case where the two state basketball championship seasons are still featured prominently.
Others might have wondered if Madison could make it to state, but not the Trojans themselves.
"Most people didn't see us managing it, but I knew that we could because the whole season we've been playing teams above us in 2A, 3A or whatever," Borney said. "We had to prove to people that we're a complete team and we plan on winning it all."