Imagine being in second grade, playing basketball with your twin brother, dreaming of one day playing in high school. Now fast-forward 11 years. You're seniors, and Stanford University wants to give you both full-ride scholarships.
Meet Malcolm and Marcus Allen. The twin brothers from Centennial High School committed to Stanford in November for basketball as well as academics.
The seniors gained a great deal of attention from colleges this summer thanks to their domination of the Northwest division last year. Marcus, the shooter, scored an average of 20 points a game, while Malcolm, the passer, scored 15.
These stats, along with their impressive grades, drew the interest of colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Drake and many more, but not without the help of their mother, Trina Wiggins. The Stanford graduate said she spent a lot of time putting together promotional packets for the boys' top schools containing their transcripts, resumes, test scores and DVDs of them playing basketball.
Malcolm, the older twin by two minutes, said the recruiting process was a great experience overall but "hectic towards the end."
When asked why he chose Stanford, he said, "Obviously they're a great academic school as well as being great athletically, and that's just the perfect mix for me."
Marcus said, "I couldn't pass up an opportunity like Stanford. They play in the Pac-12, and that's a premier conference. I also like the coaching staff."
The boys aren't just gifted at basketball. They both have earned a 4.8 GPA, which means they have received A's in all of their classes, most of them honors and Advanced Placement courses.
They have had to balance basketball, school and a social life.
"I've made a lot of sacrifices," Marcus said. "It takes being up all night to do homework, not hanging out with friends all the time on the weekend, and managing your time so that you can attend basketball practice and do AP homework."
The twins understand that they will not play basketball forever. Each said he is preparing for the day when "the basketball will stop bouncing" by having the "greatest head" on his shoulders.
Marcus said he wants to be a doctor like both of his parents.
Their mother, who both described as the greatest influence in their lives, said she hopes the boys do something they're passionate about when they're finished with college, whatever that may be.
The twins work well together on and off the court. Both said they are very close and go everywhere together. Each serves as the other's study and basketball partner. They don't fight like most siblings.
Their father, Carl Allen, described them as "best buddies." He also said that both are very quick to help each other if one of them is struggling with something.
Each twin experienced a period of not being able to play basketball. Their sophomore year, Malcolm didn't get much playing time. He said he learned from the experience and considers it training for college, when he might go through something similar.
The same year, Marcus had a problem with his knee and was unable to play for three months. He said the experience taught him to value the game even more.
But it's not all basketball and school for the Allen twins. Malcolm said he likes Thai food, movies and video games such as "2K" and "Madden." Marcus also enjoys video games, but he also likes to read and watch TV. Both boys said they hang out with their friends whenever they can.
The twins are excited to continue their partnership at Stanford.
"We've gone to school together our whole lives, this is just another school we're going to," Malcolm said. "It'll be great with him."
"I can't put it into words," Marcus said smiling. "College with my twin."