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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Bofia, Neabors twins bring size, talent”

    Twin freshman forwards Rheya, left, and Rhaya Neabors defend guard Jaime Octave TTuesday in Arizonas 83-41 win over the Colonels in McKale Center. TThe Wildcats have two sets of twins this year with the additions of the Neabors and Bofia twins.
    Twin freshman forwards Rheya, left, and Rhaya Neabors defend guard Jaime Octave TTuesday in Arizona’s 83-41 win over the Colonels in McKale Center. TThe Wildcats have two sets of twins this year with the additions of the Neabors and Bofia twins.

    Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini has a larger-than-normal recruiting class this season. Part of that is because it includes two sets of identical twins, Beatrice and Suzy Bofia and Rhaya and Rheya Neabors, each of whom bring Arizona size and wouldn’t have played for a school that didn’t recruit her sister as well.

    “”We always wanted to play for the same Division I school together,”” Suzy said. “”It was very important that we weren’t separated. We’ve never been split up. We’ve always played on the same team.””

    Rhaya said of playing with her sister: “”We’ve played our whole lives together. Most schools were willing to take both of us, so that worked out.””

    The Bofias transferred from Illinois Central College, where they won the NJCAA Division II national championship and Suzy received an honorable mention for an All-American award. Beatrice and Suzy, 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-6, respectively, traveled from Yaounde, Cameroon, to start their college careers two years ago, and their English is still developing.

    The sisters will platoon at center throughout the season, but for the time being, Suzy will do the bulk of the work with Beatrice sidelined after spraining her knee in the Red-Blue Game Nov. 1.

    “”We always take time out of our day to talk to each other, even if we don’t have a lot of time,”” Beatrice said. “”Family is important. We also always take special time out to stay in touch with the rest of our family.””

    Over the summer, Beatrice entered a dunk contest in the Tucson Summer Pro League, and the team’s players who were in town for the summer came and witnessed the event.

    Twin Towers + Twin Powers + McGee = Hope

    Suzy Bofia

    • 6-foot-6 junior college transfer center, Yaounde, Cameroon
    • Kodak honorable mention All-American
    • Named to NJCAA II All-Region team
    • Helped Illinois Central win the NJCAA national championship
    • Averaged 16.7 points and 12.3 rebounds last year

    Beatrice Bofia

    • 6-foot-7 junior college transfer center, Yaounde, Cameroon
    • Can dunk, competing in contest in the Tucson Summer Pro League and McKale Madness.
    • Averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds last year
    • Helped Illinois Central win the NJCAA national championship

    Rheya Neabors

    • 6-foot-2 freshman forward, Pomona, Calif.
    • Two-time CIF Division II AA MVP
    • First-team all-state as a junior and senior
    • Team went 33-1, advanced to state finals and ranked No. 1 in the West and No. 4 nationally.
    • Ranked No. 31 by the Blue Star Report
    • Averaged 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists as a senior
      Rhaya Neabors
    • 6-foot-1 freshman forward, Pomona, Calif.
    • Two-time first-team CIF pick
    • Team went 33-1, advanced to state finals and ranked No. 1 in the West and No. 4 nationally.
    • Ranked No. 56 by Blue Star
    • Averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists as a senior

    Marie McGee

    • 5-foot-9 freshman guard, Las Cruces, N.M.
    • Two-time all-district pick
    • Team won the state championship in 2004 and was the runner-up in 2005 and 2006

    “”She just threw down a one-handed thing, and I got her on camera,”” said guard Joy Hollingsworth. “”I was going to put it on YouTube.””

    The Neabors are freshmen out of Pomona, Calif. They both said they have been mistaken for one another every day of their lives, whereas for the Bofias, the height difference helps people tell them apart.

    “”I can tell Beatrice and Suzy apart because Bea’s a little bit taller,”” Bonvicini said. “”With Rheya and Rhaya, I still make mistakes, but I’m getting better. Rheya’s a little bit quieter, while Rhaya is a little bit more outgoing. One’s a righty and one’s a lefty, but they’re both really good.””

    Bonvicini is excited about the additions of both sets of twins. The Neabors came from a well-coached high school program, something that the Arizona coach said makes her job a little easier.

    “”I’ve never coached twins before, and now all of a sudden we have two sets of them,”” Bonvicini said. “”I got a lot of advice from people who have coached twins. Someone told me to just be careful because if you get on one, then the other one gets mad at you, and that’s true. On the other hand, if you say something positive and compliment them, then the other one is happy.””

    Suzy said it is a little odd to have another set of twins on the team, but added that it is important for the team’s chemistry, because the elder set is able to help the younger set out.

    “”It’s very interesting,”” Suzy said. “”But it’s good because since they are younger, we are able to give them some advice.””

    Rhaya said despite the transition from high school, her relationship with Rheya hasn’t changed, but the living situation at college makes things different.

    “”We still always know where each other are,”” Rhaya said. “”I only see her at McKale. I think it’s for the best, because we’re not going to be together our whole lives.””

    For the Bofias, they both have the previous experience of playing college ball together, and Bonvicini said that should help the Wildcats out greatly.

    “”Beatrice and Suzy give us a presence inside that we haven’t had,”” she said. “”Both are above 6-5, and to have two players that big is huge.””

    As far as the family aspect goes for the team, Bonvicini said, “”It’s fun. The best thing is when you have twins, as far as on the court, they understand playing with each other. It’s almost a sixth sense.””

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