ATLANTA – Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) guards Keyshaun and Kobe Langley are fraternal twins who are so in tune on the court that you’d swear, at the very least, their brains are identical.
From mannerisms to tendencies to converging to trap anyone who dares to drive into the lane, Keyshaun and Kobe have added a relentless edge that the Trojans didn’t have last season.
Makes sense that the Red Sea, Wesleyan Christian’s famed fan base, dubbed the brothers Double Trouble.
“The only way we know to go is hard,” Keyshaun said. “I couldn’t even imagine playing any other way.”
That overdrive style served them well in their 76-68 win over Gainesville (Ga.) Friday at the Holiday Hoopsgiving.
The pair accounted for 40 points.
The No. 21 Trojans face Norcross (Ga.) tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the showcase.
“We wanted to come out and make our mark in this event,” Kobe said. “We know it’s a national event with really good teams and that’s what we play for. That just makes us want it more.”
Trojans wing Jaylen Hoard played against Keyshaun and Kobe last season and said that their feistiness on the defensive end made them a headache of a matchup.
“I’m just glad they’re on my side now,” said Hoard, a five-star wing who is signed to Wake Forest. “They were always swiping the ball away and making everything hard on us; now I can watch them do it to everyone else.”
Keyshaun and Kobe, juniors who are committed to Virginia Tech, led Southwest Guilford (High Point, N.C.) to the school’s first ever basketball championship last season.
Keyshaun averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists, three rebounds and 2.7 steals a game, Kobe averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals a game.
Wesleyan Christian coach Keith Gatlin is Keyshaun and Kobe’s cousin and said their chemistry on the court has strengthened the entire team’s chemistry in every aspect.
“They make us so much better because they compete so hard,” Gatlin said. “You feel out of place if you’re not going hard like them. Sometimes I actually have to slow them down, but that’s a great thing. They have a sort of telepathy that you just can’t even describe.”
This summer they led Team CP3 (N.C.) to the uber-prestigious Nike Peach Jam 16U title.
That’s why, all things considered, it’s completely understandable that Hoard said he thinks the twins are the missing piece that could potentially propel Wesleyan Christian to its first berth into the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals at the end of the season.
But Kobe, the more athletic southpaw, is named after Kobe Bryant and Keyshaun, the better shooter, is named after former NFL great Keyshawn Johnson, so, clearly, they were marked for the proverbial hype from the start.
“We love that pressure,” Keyshaun said. “We’ve played on national stages a lot and we know what to expect. If you’re a basketball player you have to love that kind of scenario. It’s what you play for.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY