Josh, Adam Kozinski grow as brothers in first and only basketball season together

Central Michigan basketball brothers, Adam and Josh Kozinski, pose for a portrait before practice on Feb. 22 at McGuirk Arena.

Central Michigan fifth-year senior guard Josh Kozinski was always five grades ahead of his younger brother Adam Kozinski — meaning they could never play together.

Until the 2017-18 season. 

“This is my first time playing with Josh,” Adam said. “It’s been a dream to play with him. Being a little brother, he teaches me a lot. I’ve only played backyard basketball with him. It’s pretty cool being able to pass him the ball and watch him shoot for the first time on a team.” 

Unlike Josh’s starting role, Adam takes on a much different appearance for CMU. He is a motivator on the bench, only playing in eight minutes this season. Being able to accept his spot on the team proves Adam’s character. 

“It’s tough for anyone to play at the next level and not see playing time,” Josh said. “Everyone has seen great playing time in high school and were the stars of their team. It speaks to everyone who has come in here and played in their role. That speaks a lot to Adam’s character because it’s tough.”

For the first time in his life, Adam got the inside scoop on the way his brother conducts himself on a team. Over the 2017-18 season, Josh’s younger brother took multiple learning points away from him due to their time on the hardwood. 

“He’s been a great role model for me. He’s always done the right thing and has been great to people,” Adam said. “Everyone loves him on the team and I’ve learned character from him.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned from him is to enjoy the experience because it’s going to be gone, just like that.”

CMU head coach Keno Davis watched the two brothers mature on and off the court from the sidelines this year. 

“It’s pretty neat to be able to play together and it’s something they enjoy,” Davis. “I would guess in later years they will always remember the season where they could be on the same team together. It was good that this was able to happen.” 

Playing basketball in Mount Pleasant is something Josh has done for five years. Once the 2017-18 campaign comes to a close, Josh’s time on the court is concluded. 

Josh is sticking to an adventurous schedule after the season. He is getting married in June, moving to Texas and starting an account manager job in Fort Worth. Along with playing basketball now, he is training for his job to get his feet wet.

“There’s something to look forward to,” Josh said. “I’m happy I have the next steps of my life set up. I don’t want it to end, but there are promising things in the future I can look to. God has allowed me to set things up.” 

Adam will be the best man in his brother’s wedding, but has not made his speech, which he said will be marvelous once finished.

“I never thought of my brother getting married,” Adam said. “I have to be the best man and everything, but I’m excited for him and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m excited for him. He’s been talking about Texas for a long time. He’s excited to make a life with his future wife and move forward.”

Reflecting on competing with his little brother, Josh called it a blessing. 

“It’s been a blast,” Josh said. “We get to room with each other, so start to finish it’s what we’ve expected, but more fun than we thought as we shoot together, reflect on the game plan and coach each other up. 

“I never thought it was a reality and it’s been a blessing.”