Sports

Mason High’s Hoop Sibling Duos

Radford High School was up 3-0 in the state semifinal against George Mason High School when Mason freshman Ashley Alexander was pulled out of the game because of a knee injury.

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Mason High Basketball brother-sister tandems Brandon (far left) and Ashley Alexander (far right), and Rebecca (second from right) and Ryan Moot (second from left).

Radford High School was up 3-0 in the state semifinal against George Mason High School when Mason freshman Ashley Alexander was pulled out of the game because of a knee injury.

“I landed weird, and I was trying to play it off,” Ashley said. “One of my teammates told the coach I was injured, and he took me out. I told him I was alright, I wanted to go back in. It was a minor injury.”

Maybe it was a minor injury for Ashley, but Riddhini Alexander, Ashley’s mother, had reasons to be worried. Her son, Brandon Alexander, is a senior on Mason boys basketball team.

“I got a flashback from all Brandon’s past injuries,” Riddhini said. “I tell them to try to not get hurt, but they never listen.”

Brandon’s injury history includes a torn ACL* and five MRIs**. The fifth MRI happened in the beginning of this season, when Brandon hurt his ankle badly.

“It was before districts,” Brandon said. “I sprained my ankle, ended up being partial tear of the ligament. I had to seat out for a while, but I got back in three weeks.”

With their two children playing basketball for Mason, the Alexander’s have twice the injuries to worry about. It’s twice the amount of games to attend, twice the amount of practices, twice the time on the basketball court.

But the Alexander’s are not the only basketball family at Mason.

Freshman Rebecca Moot and senior Ryan Moot are also siblings that share the passion for the sport, and played for the Mustangs this season. The four players grew up playing basketball together.

“Brandon and Ryan probably started playing together when they were seven. Rebecca and Ashley probably started playing together when they were five,” said Stacy Hennessey, Rebecca and Ryan’s mother. “They’ve been playing together forever.”

The lifetime friendship between the two pair of siblings was developed on and off the court throughout the years.

“The two girls are very competitive,” said Timothy Alexander, Ashley and Brandon’s father. “Last year, they went to spring break with us. The two boys are more friends.”

Timothy influenced Ashley and Brandon’s decision to start playing basketball. He always encouraged the kids to try sports and see which one they liked, according to Brandon.

“I’ve always been encouraged by him [her father],” Ashley said. “If I go shooting outside the house, he would come out, and we would shoot together. My brother would come out too, and we would all just shoot.”

Ashley and Brandon still play basketball together once in a while. When both teams are in season, it’s hard to find time to play with each other for fun, but they still manage to do it.

“We would play against each other, but it wasn’t competition,” Ashley said. “I’m starting to get more serious about it, sometimes, and to get on his level. We actually played one on one the other day. I thought it was tied, but apparently he won.”

Rebecca and Ryan also spend time together on the basketball court, and had the opportunity to practice together during the summer.

“They play together all the time, it’s really nice,” Hennessey said. “He and Rebecca got together [this summer], and they started working out with this old gentleman, the nicest guy,” Hennessey said. “He would take them to the gym twice a week, and they just shot around.”

Ryan played junior varsity as a freshman, but decided to try out for the varsity team this season. Rebecca was already trying out, and used the extra practice to help out his brother build confidence for the 2010/2011 season.

With Rebecca’s extra support, Ryan made the varsity team, and was part of one of the best teams Mason had in the past decade. Ryan also shows his sister support on the basketball court, and from the stands.

“When Ryan goes to Rebecca’s games, he is really vocal, it’s really cute,” Hennessey said. “They are really supportive of each other. I always think about that, how lucky I am because they get along so well.”

As seniors, Ryan and Brandon played their last game for Mason against James River High School, 61-31, in the state semifinals, finishing the season with a 22-6 record.

Ashley and Rebeca have just started their basketball career at Mason. The girls team dropped to Radford, 63-36, in the state semifinals. As freshman, both players made an impact on the team this season and will return next year to compete for the state champion title.

 

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