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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Sixth sense, size make pair of twins lethal combo”

    Studies have shown that twins tend to share a bond so strong that it could almost be described as mystical.

    It’s something UA head coach Joan Bonvicini learned after adding two pairs of twins to her roster last season.

    Off the court, both sets of sisters illustrated their bonds by refusing to sign with a school that would not take their sibling as a tandem.

    On the court, it’s been the Neabors twins, Rheya and Rhaya, who have most demonstrated a connection. Bonvicini used the term “”sixth sense”” to explain how the sisters communicate on the court.

    “”When we recruited the Neabors, we knew they liked playing together,”” she said. “”They just know each other. They know each other’s strengths and they know each other’s weaknesses. They know how to put each other in good situations.””

    Guard Marie McGee lives with the Neabors and said she notices how their connection and similarities spill over from their lives to the court.

    “”They’re fun to play with. They just always seem to know where the other will be,”” McGee said. “”When I bring the ball down and I have both of them on my side, it doesn’t matter which one I’m passing to because I know a shot’s going up, and we’re making it.””

    Added Rheya: “”I never really notice (the sense). It’s just how we’ve always played, so whenever it happens and someone says something, I don’t think about it – it’s just like

    second nature.””

    Almost as if on cue, Rhaya echoed Rheya’s comments.

    “”We always rely on each other and can find each other well,”” Rhaya said. “”This has helped make us less prone to give up turnovers.””

    A bond like the one the Neabors twins share has yet to be discovered between the team’s other pair of twins, the Bofias. Due to various circumstances, the two have yet to be on the same court at the same time during a game.

    After the two women transferred to Arizona from Illinois Central College last season, Beatrice went down with a season-ending knee injury during the team’s preseason Red & Blue Game. This season, her sister, Suzy, will be inactive while she awaits the birth of her first child.

    Despite Suzy’s absence this season, the team will get a much-anticipated look at Beatrice.

    “”I’m excited to see (Beatrice) play,”” said forward Shannon Hobson, adding that the twins’ “”height is out of control, and they’re both really athletic.””

    After playing with her sister throughout her life, Beatrice admitted her disappointment that circumstances have kept that trend from continuing.

    “”It’s been hard on me because last season I really wanted to play with her, but I had the knee injury, and this year, she’s having a baby, so we won’t have that chance for two years,”” she said.

    This year, the team will look to the 6-foot-7 Beatrice to begin to trust her knee again and make a big impact down low.

    As for the Neabors, Rheya battled injuries throughout last season, as well, missing 17 games due to a stress fracture in her foot.

    With the foot now at 100 percent, Arizona will be able to take advantage of the connection between at least one pair of twins.

    “”I think (the Neabors) show incredible teamwork. They’re very team-oriented,”” Bonvicini said. “”They’re both extremely versatile and smart, and I think both are going to really contribute this season.””

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