For sisters Brandi and Lauren Segars and Lee and Miya Williams, playing basketball is a family affair.
Both sets of sisters started playing basketball with encouragement from other women in their lives. The Segars credit their mother for their love of basketball, while the Williams sisters, twins, credit their older sister.
“We saw how [our sister] was playing, and we were like, ‘We want to play, too.’ So, we started playing with her,’” Lee, a junior, said.
While many see sisters as a pair, head coach Kate Achter made it her mission to view each sister as an individual.
“When I took the job and knew I had two sets of sisters, I made it very clear to them that they would each be their own person,” said Achter. “They each bring something different to the team.”
On the court, first-year Lauren, who holds a 31 percent field goal average in nine games, said being teammates with her sister, sophomore Brandi, comes naturally.
“It’s easy playing with a sibling. [She] keeps me level-headed during the games and gives me confidence,” said Lauren, who averages 3.8 rebounds per game.
Junior guard Miya, who is shooting 88 percent from the free throw line, said it gives her confidence to know Lee is out on the court with her or cheering her on from the bench.
“[Playing together] helps us to push each other and make us work harder,” said Miya, whose free throw percentage is the best on the team.
Achter said the on-court chemistry between the two sets of sisters fosters chemistry among the other players on the team. Because they are a strong unit together, they push the team and try to raise the bar, according to Achter. She also said the sisters hold each other to a higher degree of accountability because they challenge one another.
Off the court, the Williams sisters joked that living together is frustrating because chores get ignored.
“Nobody wants to fold clothes. Nobody wants to wash dishes,” said Lee, who holds a 46 percent field goal average in 17 games this season.
Still, the twins do enjoy cooking and watching Netflix with each other, as do the Segars sisters. Lauren said she and Brandi are always together.
“We enjoy each other’s company,” said Brandi, who has appeared in all 18 games this season and has contributed 55 field goals.
Both sets of sisters said they cannot imagine being on the women’s basketball team without their respective siblings. The Williams sisters said they would find playing at this competitive level more stressful and difficult if they were going it alone. Lauren said she appreciates having Brandi as an older sister who can give her advice based on personal experience.
“It’s like having one of your best friends playing with you,” said Brandi, who has added 4.4 rebounds per game for the Ramblers.
The Williams and Segars sisters and the rest of their teammates are scheduled to take on the Missouri State Bears in Gentile Arena at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.