ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (WCCO) — Jazmin and Ashli Lee are leaders on and off the court for the Robbinsdale Cooper basketball team. The twin sisters are identical in their hopes of guiding the Hawks to a successful postseason.
If it wasn’t for the different numbers on the back of their jerseys, it would be hard to tell them apart.
Ashli wears number 20, Jazmin has 11.
But even though they look alike, the way they play is totally different.
“Ashley scores I think a little bit more from the outside,” said coach Jan Rademacher. “Jazmin can cut to the basket like no other catch and shoot.”
Rademacher says Ashli is a little bigger than her sister. She plays post but can also shoot the three. Jazmin plays on the wing and grabs offensive boards like no one else on the team. She’s also one of the best defenders on a guard.
Rademacher has worked with the Lee twins since their freshman year. Now that they are seniors, she is proud of their growth as players and the role they’ve played in helping lead this team to its 14-3 record.
“They work hard every single day. They motivate everybody else every single day,” said Rademacher. “It’s just really nice that they are consistent and there is never any attitudes and they get up and down just like everybody else but they just do their jobs. And they’re just fun kids.”
A sense of humor is something they both share. They have a thirst for knowledge and have a 3.5 grade point average, but they will be the first to tell you how different they are.
Between basketball, school work, church and community involvement, most of their “off time” is spent on the hardwood.
“We work hard to make each other better,” said Jazmin.
The Twins say they do work hard but feel as if they have an advantage over other players.
“I know how to read her, so it’s kind of easy to throw her the ball, and she will make it. We have a little twin thing,” said Ashli.
Call it twins’ intuition, whatever it is, it always helps them get out of tough spots during a game.
“Even if the play doesn’t go right, she’ll know where to go and I’ll know where she is going,” said Ashli.
Usually what the Twins do when they get the ball is score, but for the twins, winning is not as important as getting to their ultimate goal.
“Getting better, getting better is big. It’s not only about blowing other teams out or winning by a lot, but it’s about getting better every game,” said Jazmin.
As a team these girls play uptempo basketball, they say they own the fast break. But they are not forgetting what’s important. It’s senior year for the Twins, and every game counts.
“We like to have a good time and we work together as a team,” said Jazmin. “We’re only striving for the best this season.”
Cooper High School is in one of the most competitive sections in the state, where four of the eight teams are ranked. That fact keeps these young ladies working hard.
It also has the coach grateful to have a team she believes will make a run at a state championship this year.
“I have to make sure that every day I just take a little step back and just enjoy them,” said Rademacher, “because it’s that special grouping.”
Next up for Cooper is a section quarterfinal game on Wednesday night against Minneapolis South.