Two For One


by Ryan Jones | portraits Trevor Paulhus

As basketball-playing twins who happen to be two of the best high school seniors in the nation, Aaron and Andrew Harrison have already heard every question there is about being basketball-playing twins.

Who’s older? (Aaron, by about a minute.) Are they the same size? (Andrew weighs a few pounds more, but Aaron stands about half an inch taller.) Do they like all the same things? (Not exactly, but they have enough in common that they still share a bedroom.) Are they hyper-competitive with each other? On that one,  Aaron is blunt. “We don’t really think of it as going against each other,” he says. “We think of it as us against everyone else.”

With that in mind, here are the vital stats on what might well be the best college backcourt in the nation in 2013-14: Aaron is a 6-5½, 205-pound shooting guard, Andrew a 6-5, 210-pound point guard. Both star at Travis (TX) High School, just outside Houston, and both are ranked among the top-10 players in the class of 2013, with Andrew generally slotted a few spots ahead of the very-slightly older Aaron. And yes, they will play their college ball together. Running side by side is the reason they’ve gotten this far. Why would they change that now?

“Having each other,” says their father, Aaron Sr, “has probably been the most beneficial thing in their development.”

It’s hard to argue. Both first starred in football—Aaron in particular had the makings of a DI quarterback—but as they outgrew their gridiron peers, concentrating on hoops just seemed to make more sense. And so they did, blossoming in tandem into two of the best prospects in their class. They’re not particularly talkative with reporters (although their dad swears that changes when they’re around their friends), but if you ask each about the other, you can get a sense of where they see each other’s game.

Aaron, the elder, on Andrew: “He plays like a Deron Williams or Chris Paul—sets up the team, runs the team, tells everybody where to go.”

Andrew, the younger, on Aaron: “It’s hard to compare, but he reminds me a little bit of Dwyane Wade, or maybe even Kobe.”

Both agree that they have each other to thank for their success, and as stated, the sibling rivalry seems not to be an issue. They test each other, no doubt, but that’s about working out together, not banging heads. “They played a lot of one-on-one in the backyard when they were younger,” Aaron Sr says. “But in recent years, they’ve just been happy for each other. Andrew is always ranked higher, but Aaron won MVP at their high school this year. They’re happy for each other. And they want to go to the same school.”

The brothers’ prerequisite means some lucky coach will sign an immediate starting backcourt, likely in the next few months. The Harrisons say they don’t want their recruiting process to drag out, leaving Baylor, Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova and the darkhorse, Larry Brown-coached SMU, to count the days until the twins make a decision. Unless…could they even imagine a scenario where they don’t settle on the same school? “Nah,” Andrew says. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”

Of course it won’t.