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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Family Weekend: All in the family

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Z Saenz/SBS Tech/UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Arizona football redshirt sophomore wide receiver Trey Griffey (left) and Arizona women’s basketball freshman guard Taryn Griffey (right) are among a handful of sibling student-athletes at Arizona. Trey and Taryn Griffey come from the famous Griffey family that includes arguably the most famous MLB father-son duo: their father, Ken Griffey Jr., and grandfather, Ken Griffey Sr.

Whether you talk about Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Sr., Trey Griffey or Taryn Griffey, there is, without fail, a reference to another Griffey.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. are arguably the most famous father-son duo to ever play in Major League Baseball.

Ken Griffey Jr. dominated MLB pitchers for 22 seasons and finished his career with 630 home runs and 1,836 RBIs. While not nearly as dominant as his son, Ken Griffey Sr. was a consistent MLB player for 19 seasons. The duo even had a chance to play together on the 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 Seattle Mariners teams.

While Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t get a chance to see two of his children follow in his baseball footsteps, the Griffey family has to be proud of how Trey and Taryn Griffey have turned out.

Trey Griffey, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver on the Arizona football team, and Taryn Griffrey, a freshman guard on the Arizona women’s basketball team, both committed to Arizona within a year of each other.

“It’s honestly amazing,” Trey Griffey said. “It’s very rare that you and your siblings … end up going to the same school. When she ended up committing here, I was happy about it. … It was actually during the summer, the summer right before her senior year. I ended up flying back [to Tucson] a couple days later, and she was like, ‘I’m flying back out with you.’”

It started with three-star wide receiver Trey Griffey committing to Rich Rodriguez’s football team in January 2012. He chose Arizona over offers from ASU, Michigan State and UCLA.

After redshirting his true freshman year, Trey Griffey’s redshirt freshman year was largely uneventful until the AdvoCare V100 Bowl game in Shreveport, La. The 6-foot-3 receiver caught the only two touchdowns of his Arizona career in that game and emerged as a legitimate red zone threat.

About a year and a half later, Taryn Griffey followed her brother when she committed to Niya Butts’ Arizona women’s basketball team in May 2013. Rather than look for a more accomplished program, the four-star guard picked Arizona due in large part to already having her older brother on campus.

“It was a major impact on me coming here,” Taryn Griffey said. “Just having him here with me and not having to go through homesick [times] and stuff like that is definitely good.”

Growing up as the oldest children in their family, Trey and Taryn Griffey grew up challenging each other on a daily basis. According to the pair, their one-on-one basketball games have always been heated, despite Trey Griffey standing almost a foot taller than Taryn Griffey.

“Growing up, I only had a sister before my little brother came in about 10, 12 years ago,” Trey Griffey said. “Growing up, I used to play with her a lot, as far as playing basketball [and] playing baseball, usually most of the stuff that most brothers and sisters wouldn’t do. She was athletic enough to do it, and she challenged me.”

Both referenced the other as their best friend and someone who they can lean on when times get tough.

“We do everything together,” Taryn Griffey said. “Ever since we were younger, we’ve done everything together. I don’t know how to describe it; he’s just my best friend. He’s like my everything.”

This weekend is the annual Family Weekend on campus and Trey Griffey will take the field with the Arizona football team as USC comes to town. Having both Trey and Taryn Griffey on one campus means those in the Griffey family can cut their travel time in half when they come to visit.

According to Taryn Griffey, her parents come to each football home game to watch Trey Griffey and will be in town over Family Weekend to see them both.

“I believe my parents are coming in and my little brother,” Taryn Griffey said. “This weekend is really big for the whole school. They were like, ‘We actually save a lot because you guys are both here.’ I love when they come out here, and I miss them a lot.”

As both grow as players and people at the UA, two things are clear: They will never stray far from the other, and when you talk about Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Sr., Trey Griffey or Taryn Griffey, there is without fail a reference to another Griffey.

“She’s everything; that’s my little sister,” Trey Griffey said. “We’ll get into arguments about some stuff, but at the end of the day, that’s still my little sister. We’ll get over it because that’s brothers and sisters sometimes.”

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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