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Athletes of the week: Twins' looks might match, but styles clash

Ben and Zach Simons have made sibling rivalry work well over their many years of playing basketball together.

The twins are juniors at Charlotte Country Day School.

Ben leads the Bucs (6-5 through Jan. 6) with 14.3 points per game and scored 30 points in a Dec. 30 victory over Brookland Cayce (S.C.) in the Midas Highlander Classic championship game in Columbia, S.C.

Zach is also one of the team's top scorers, with 9.5 points per game, but the similarities seem to end there.

Ben, at 6-foot-3, enjoys playing under the basket and at anything other than point guard; Zach, 6-foot-2, likes to play everywhere other than under the basket.

The two have attended Country Day since elementary school. Zach started playing basketball in sixth grade; Ben's interest started a little later, in eighth grade.

"I like getting into the game in clutch situations and know that you are going to shoot the ball for a win," said Ben.

"I just like winning," said Zach. "It doesn't matter whether I have one point or 30 points, as long as we win."

When asked how being brothers affects their play, they agree it has heightened their level of competitiveness. They instinctively complement each other's styles, and they know what the other is going to do and are able to respond accordingly.

"They are both very coachable and they want to get better," said Bucs varsity head coach Dwayne Cherry. "They work very hard in the gym.

"Even days we don't practice, they will still find a gym to put up some shots and continue working on their game."

Cherry has been coaching them only since the start of the season, but the twins' intensity already has made an impression.

Ben is an ardent Duke fan, while Zach has no real favorite. "I love Duke," said Ben, who watches the Blue Devils every chance he gets.

"If there is a game on, I would rather go out and shoot," said Zach. "I like playing; I do not watch it too much."

Zach says one of the best things about playing at Country Day is being part of a tradition. Ben finds the best thing about playing at Country Day has been the coaching he has received.

Both his past and current coaches have made significant impressions. "I had a real good relationship with the old coach, and now with the new coach," said Ben.

Both young men plan to play in college, but for now, they said, they are keeping their focus on the current season.