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Co-valedictorians headed to Stanford on basketball scholarships

Twin brothers Malcolm and Marcus Allen have more in common than their looks.

They were co-valedictorians at Centennial High School. They started for their varsity basketball team and went to the state tournament, losing narrowly to Bishop Gorman High School. They received full scholarship offers from several colleges, and both chose Stanford University for the same reason.

Academics comes first, they said.

“It’s the culture in our household,” Marcus said.

“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” Malcolm added. “They’re the best combination of academics and athletics.”

Being co-valedictorians was not something they were aiming for, Malcolm said. They have always been A students, and that continued through high school.

“We worked very hard,” Malcolm said. “I’m glad it paid off.”

Oh, and they have a proud mother. She also went to Stanford.

“They’re amazing,” Trina Wiggins said of her boys. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if this is actually real. They worked so hard so long, to see their dreams come true just makes me feel really good as a mom.”

Marcus and Malcolm’s parents are doctors — Wiggins is a pediatrician, and their father, Carl Allen, is an OB-GYN.

“My husband and I both went to college, grad school, medical school,” Wiggins said. “Education has been important in our household. I always told them education is the key if you want to live a decent lifestyle. You have to go further.”

As alike as they are, the brothers have their differences, too. Marcus, at 6 feet 3 inches tall, is an inch taller than Malcolm.

As for their personalities, Wiggins and Marcus said Malcolm’s sense of humor stands out.

“Malcolm is my humorous, happy-go-lucky child,” Wiggins said. “If the mood is depressing or negative, he can turn it around and make everybody laugh.”

Wiggins said Marcus has “a smile that could light up the universe.”

“He’s very kind-hearted,” she said. “He was always helping other kids, opening doors for others. He always had good manners.”

Even though they will be playing basketball for the Stanford Cardinal this fall, they understand “student” comes before “athlete.”

“The goal is to play at the next level,” Malcolm said, “but you’ve got to have a backup plan.”

Neither has decided on a major, but Mom has one request when they start school.

“I always told them whatever you decide to major in, take some business courses,” Wiggins said. “You need to know how to handle your money no matter your profession.”

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at or 702-224-5524.