It only lasted one season of Angel and Julian Reese playing on the same team before her mother, also named Angel, realized it was a terrible idea.
“Oh my god, never again,” mom Angel, who played college in Maryland-Baltimore County, told USA TODAY Sports. “Back then, Angel’s skills were a bit more advanced and she was more aggressive, so she took charge. Well Julian wanted to shoot more and let them shoot less. They argued non-stop. It was unbearable.”
From that point on, Mom decided to schedule tipping times for two teams.
That’s also the case this weekend, as both Angel, a 6-foot-3 sophomore for the third-seeded LSU women, and Julian, a 6-foot-9 sophomore for the men of Maryland, compete in their respective NCAA tournaments.
Angel is a double-double star for the Tigers, averaging 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds. Julian transitioned into a starting role for the No. 8 Terrapins this year, averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Mom is hoping to fly to Birmingham, Alabama, to watch Julian first and then head to Baton Rouge where LSU will be hosting.
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“I live out of a suitcase at this time of year,” she says. “But it’s worth it.”
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She’s not the only one. Basketball bloodlines run like a thread through the story of March Madness: fathers coach sons, mothers coach daughters, and siblings take turns in the tournament spotlight. But it’s rare for a brother and sister to star at the same time.
This month there are at least three pairs of siblings in the Great Dance. Joining Angel and Julian Reese are Cass Prosper, an early enlistment for the Notre Dame women, and older brother Olivier-Maxence “OMax” Prosper, a junior forward who averages 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds for scored the number 2 seed Marquette men, a Final Four favorite. Cass, a freshman guard for the third-placed Irish, has played in just 19 games, averaging 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 20 minutes per game.
Perhaps the rarest are the Jaquez siblings, both of whom play at UCLA. Senior guard/forward Jaime Jr. (13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists) was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, while little sister and freshman Gabriela came off the bench for the fourth-ranked Bruins and averaged scored 6.4 points.
Gabriela joked that her parents had been spending so much time at the Pauley Pavilion this winter that they might as well have moved in. With UCLA men and women taking turns playing at home on the weekends, the Jaquez family — who live just 45 miles west in Camarillo — don’t have to go far to see Jaime and Gabriela. At least until this weekend: The fourth-place women have games Saturday and Monday, but the second-place men tip Thursday in Sacramento.
The Bruins do indeed have a history of sibling stars: Ann Meyers, one of the greatest players of all time, and her brother Dave both won national championships at Westwood (Ann in the AIAW, Dave in the NCAA), although they didn’t play at the same time.
The Jaquez siblings know the Meyers set high standards. It’s one they would like to meet.
“My brother wanted to come to UCLA to get UCLA back to what it was, and I wanted to come here and do something that had never been done before,” Gabriela said.
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With multiple Division I athletes in the family, there’s plenty of competition—on and off the field.
Jaime prided himself on being the family cook and making top-notch pasta. When Gabriela heard that, she sighed deeply.
“I’ll give that to him,” she admitted. But she is the stylish one. Whenever Jaime needs to dress up for an important occasion — like an awards show or a date — “he’ll call me and be like, ‘Does this outfit look good?’ I’m the fashion consultant.” She’s also quick to brag that she’s beaten Jaime at pickleball a few times.
The Reese siblings are comparing Drip, sister Angel said, noting each other’s wardrobe and sneaker collection. When Julian flew to South Carolina with his mother in February for the Tigers’ showdown with No. 1 South Carolina, “Julian looked like a million bucks,” she reluctantly admitted.
Meanwhile, a year-long struggle for a monopoly in the Prosper household continues in Canada. Everything’s a competition when both parents played college basketball (mum Guylaine also played for the Canada national team). Mom, Cass, and OMax agree that Prosper is the most competitive, evident in her decision to increase the Monopoly score when the kids were little.
“Obviously we didn’t just let them win,” said Guylaine. “They had to learn to be competitive!”
During the COVID lockdown when Cass and OMax were at home with only access to their driveway ring, they played two-on-two, kid versus parent, games daily.
“We usually won because of the cardio factor,” said Cass.
“It wasn’t nice for her,” Omax added.
When her parents got tired, Cass and OMax switched to one-on-ones where the only rule was no dunking.
“If he tries I’ll just foul him hard,” Cass said.
Blamed OMax in response, “I don’t need to dip to beat them.”
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look at each other and cheer
Siblings who both play Division I can find it difficult to watch one another. DVR helps, but whenever you can attend in person, do it.
When Angel and Julian Reese were both in Maryland last season, “Angel would go to all his games and yell all the time,” she said. Most of it was encouragement, but she wasn’t shy about offering constructive criticism either.
In high school, Cass received frequent “whether I wanted it or not” feedback from OMax, a favor she now returns.
“After a loss I read the stats and find out why they lost and then let him know what he needs to do better, even if he doesn’t want to hear it,” said Cass.
Jokes aside, it’s not lost on any of the sibling sets that their situation is special.
“Playing at one of the greatest sporting events in the world is a dream come true,” said OMax. “And now my sister is standing here with me on this stage? That is a blessing.”
He has no doubt that she will shine in her first NCAA tournament. The bracket he filled in is the proof.
“I’m picking Notre Dame for the Final Four,” OMax said. “I know they haven’t beaten South Carolina so far, but it’s March and anything can happen. And I would bet on my little sister any day.”
Follow Lindsay Schnell on Twitter at @Lindsay_Quick.