BELTON, Texas — It takes eight minutes for Darrell Cress to drive from his house to the Mayborn Campus Center.
For four years, he's made that drive from near Killeen to Belton to watch his son, Demarius, shine for the UMHB Crusaders.
"It was a good home feel when I visited here," Demarius said. "I'm so close with my family, I love my family. It was the ultimate deciding factor to decide to come here."
Early in his senior season, Demarius became UMHB's all-time leading scorer in the NCAA era, with 1,637 points. In fact, he's only missed two games in his time in Belton.
The entire time, he's had his own cheering section, thanks to his family and friends making the short trek.
"That's the great thing about this program," Darrell said. "The furthest game is only about seven hours away."
In his time with the Cru, Demarius has developed into a leader on and off the court, something his father has noticed.
His coach, too.
"People say you're either born a leader or you're not," 21st-year coach Ken Deweese said. "Well, I've never believed that. He's a pretty good example of a guy who came in here nor being a particularly-strong leader, but has developed into one."
Those skills have come in handy, too.
He's part of the reason four other Killeen natives transferred back closer to home, including Brian Long.
"Everybody that's from Killeen, I was always in their ear over the summers, like, 'Hey man, there's always a spot open for you," Demarius said.
Skills, which when it's all said and done, he'll take into the business world.
UMHB closes the regular season at home this week, hosting Sul Ross State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Howard Payne on Saturday at 3 p.m.