Final Four 2016 Betting, Nate Britt and Kris Jenkins, Could meet in Title Game Monday

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There is an undeniable bond between Nate Britt II and Kris Jenkins; they even watched the North Carolina Tar Heels and Villanova Wildcats game face off, in the 2013 NCAA tournament, together in their home in Maryland.

They belong to separate teams, Britt plays in Tar Heels, and Jenkins represents the Wildcats. There is nothing like watching these two trash talk each other.

“They were going back and forth,” Nate Britt Sr. said. “They weren’t talking. They were texting each other in the same room. It was unbelievable.”

For the Britt family, competition is a daily routine; they can turn something as simple as walking back to the car, into a race of who gets first.

The chance of the Tar Heels facing the Wildcats is real and the family knows it, there might be a possibility for both teams to advance to the national championship game on Monday.

“It’d be a dream come true for our family,” said Jenkins. “We know how much hard work we put into this game. For us to play against each other at the highest stage in our career, it’d be something special, something to always remember.”

But their story goes way back, it started while one of them was going through a difficult time, and basketball brought them together.

Kris’s father, Kelvin Jenkins met Britt Sr. after their sons played in an AAU tournament as 10-year-olds in the summer of 2004.

After their parents split, Jenkins and his sisters Kaiya and Kelci moved with his mother, Felicia, to Baltimore to live with her sister later that year. There, Felicia gave birth to Jenkins’ sister, Kori, but after a difficult pregnancy she died 11 months later.

As a concerned father, Kelvin Jenkins reached Britt Sr. so his son could focus on basketball rather than grieve.

And this is how Kris Jenkins and Nate Britt II friendship started, Jenkins ended up spending most of his summer at the Britts in Upper Marlboro, 40 miles away from Baltimore.

Felicia was offered a job as women’s basketball coach at Division II Benedict College in South Carolina in 2005, and after seeing how good his son was doing under the Britts roof, she decided to let him stay with the family on a part-time basis.

But, years later, after she found out her son was having trouble at school, so she realized her son needed a bigger change.

“He was running with some guys who wasn’t making what I thought was smart decisions,” she said. “A school monitor asked him for his cell phone and he said, ‘You can’t have my phone.’ He had never been that type of kid before.”

It wasn’t an easy decision to make; she knew her coaching job would have her traveling.

“Understand it was the most difficult decision I made in my life,” Felicia Jenkins said. “But I knew I had to make it in order to make sure he had the best opportunity.”

Felicia felt comfortable with the way the Britts treated her son during the summer stays and asked if they would take him in. Of course, it didn’t take too long for the Britts to agree, and in 2007 they became Jenkins’ legal guardians.

“I said as a mother, could you imagine going to someone else and saying you want them to take care of your son?” Britt Sr. told his wife. “So how do we say no?”

Even though she misses her son, she always makes sure to leave him handwritten notes of encouragement. But, she made up her mind, and was not going to let him return to South Carolina.

“You’re not coming back here to be what everybody is here — hometown superstars that do absolutely nothing with their talents and their smarts,” she said. “You’re going to stay where you’re at, muscle up and get some mental toughness and you’re going to work through. You have to understand the bigger picture, and this is a better environment for you.”

If they meet in the 2016 NCAA tournament finals, it would be the first time they play against each other in college.

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