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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Twin towers with superpowers

    Brook and Robin Lopez possess comic book power on the court.

    Their height (7-foot) and weight and the way they swat shots away with the force of the Incredible Hulk. They have the brains of Batman (both had 4.0 grade point averages in high school) and the potential to be Superman (both are NBA prospects.)

    The Stanford freshmen also have the power of art. The twins, along with their two older brothers Alex and Chris, have always had a fixation with comic books.

    “”They draw their own little comic characters and comic strips,”” said Alex Lopez, the younger of their two older brothers.

    “”I think they both like Batman, and Superman and Flash and all the Justice League type of characters.””

    Deborah Ledford, the mother of the four Lopez brothers, “”instilled in us a love of reading so I read a lot, from comic books to mysteries to all sorts of things,”” said Alex, 31. “”I think they picked up on that and kind of fell in love with that too.””

    As a kid, Brook said he would sneak into his brothers’ rooms and peruse through the comics, developing a quick interest before trying his own hand at drawing while sitting in class.

    In third grade he received his first comic, the “”Justice League of America I,”” circa 1996.

    During their free time, the twins constantly worked and reworked their pieces and drawings.

    “”There’s some stuff that’s finished but we’re always going back and fixing, they’re always a work in progress,”” Brook said.

    Robin regularly draws on the white board in the locker room, “”some creature or some superhero, Superman for all I know,”” Brook said.

    The Lopez twins picked up more than just comic books from their family.

    Deborah was the world’s second-fastest female swimmer in the 400-yard individual medley in 1976; Heriberto Lopez, the twins’ father, who stands 6-foot-5, played baseball for his native Cuba; and Alex was part of a star recruiting class at Washington before transferring to Santa Clara, where he started for two years.

    Now the head basketball coach at El Camino Real High School in California, Alex text messages the twins before and after every game.

    The twins were born when Alex was 12 years old, so naturally he and Chris got them started early.

    “”We just played a whole lot of ball and kind of used them as guinea pigs before they could walk,”” Alex said. “”We’d throw the ball around with them, so they’ve been around the game a whole lot.””

    The next step was taking to the backyard for some “”intense”” 2-on-2 games, Robin Lopez said.

    Alex would take Robin, whom he tried to get more involved offensively, and Chris would get Brook. Games that were supposed to go to 21, “”ended up going to 50.””

    “”One of us would end up whining, feel like we get fouled and end up on the ground pulling on an arm,”” Brook said.

    By their sophomore years Alex noticed a difference in the twins. They began to receive national attention playing for their high school team, San Joaquin Memorial, and their bodies were filling out.

    “”That’s when they started to get a little taller, a little stronger, and then me and Christopher realized we better start going up stronger or they’re gonna block every shot we put up,”” Alex said.

    From playing 2-on-2 in the driveway, the Lopez twins received a basketball education they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Brook became the standout offensive player and Robin the exceptional defender, and both made the McDonald’s All-American game.

    Though Brook’s season got off to a slow start because of offseason back surgery that caused him to miss the first five games, he has come on strong as of late, scoring more than 20 points in each of his past four games. He also put up the first triple-double in Stanford history against USC with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 12 blocks.

    While Brook was out early, Robin held down the fort, swatting away shots with regularity (first in the Pac-10 at 2.44).

    “”You can’t argue the fact that Robin has been out there all year long and defensively and his rebounding effort and I don’t know if we would have been able to survive during the non-conference if he hadn’t been out there on the floor,”” said Stanford head coach Trent Johnson, who saw Alex play with former Stanford guard Arthur Lee on the same Amateur Athletic Union team.

    He added three blocks to his brother’s total against the Trojans.

    “”You don’t finish anything and obviously we’re the poster child for that after the 18 or 19 blocks that they had that night,”” said USC head coach Tim Floyd.

    “”You get nothing easy, no second-chance opportunities, they’re terrific defensive rebounders,”” added Floyd.

    Against Arizona on Dec. 30 the Lopez twins combined for 31 points and 16 rebounds in a 89-75 loss to the Wildcats. On Saturday, Arizona’s big men, Jordan Hill and Ivan Radenovic will have to attempt to contain them.

    “”Even when we played them earlier in the conference season, they were a handful then and they continue to make improvements like other freshmen,”” said UA head coach Lute Olson.

    When both twins are in the game, their knack for passing post-to-post and knowing where the other will be is second nature, fitting of course for twins born one minute apart.

    “”It’s unspoken; we just look at each other and know what we’re doing,”” Brook said.

    Now that Alex’s season is over at El Camino, where he won the first playoff game in 28 years, he’ll have more time to watch them play. He sees Robin’s shot blocking in himself and said Brook is picking up the timing to be a good shot blocker as well.

    “”He was telling stories of how he blocked shots in high school and how he always did it better than we did and we just try to emulate him from what we saw when we were little and Robin has been doing a really good job of it lately,”” Brook said.

    When the brothers come together, they’ll play their usual games of 21, “”every man for himself,”” Alex said, while the older brothers make sure no one gets hurt.

    “”Those games get crazy because it’s just anything goes,”” Alex added.

    If the twins took on their older brothers now, Brook isn’t sure who would win.

    “”I think there’s a really good chance Alex and Chris might pull it out, though, maybe 21-19,”” Brook said.

    Alex would like to see Brook and Robin develop a “”killer instinct. When Robin picked up a technical foul in a game, Alex was happy to see the fire.

    “”He kind of displayed that ‘If you’re gonna come in here, I don’t care if I’m going to foul you, you’re going to have to take it,'”” Alex said.

    For two guys who will likely play in the NBA, the Lopez twins also want to write books.

    Brook said the book “”Animal Farm,”” which he read freshman year in high school, made an impact on him. He also acknowledged that he reads the Harry Potter books. Before he goes to bed, he tries to do some reading and writing.

    Instead of deciding what future team they will join, Brook argued about what superhero character he would be on the team bus.

    “”Batman, definitely Batman,”” Brook said.

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