The Morris twins have always played basketball together, from their young days, through freshman ball at Ss. Neumann-Goretti, to Prep Charter, right through to their college years at Kansas. That outstanding run, inevitably, would end, and it did last night at the NBA draft in Newark, N.J.
Fitting, however, is the fact the two shared the same car last night to find out their fates.
While many prognosticators had Marcus going first, Markieff actualy had the honors, as he was selected No. 13 by Phoenix.
"I'm not really surprised at all, I liked Phoenix, Phoenix liked me," Markieff said. "Now I'm Team Phoenix."
The pick came much to the delight of his emotional, younger (by 7 minutes) brother, Marcus, who broke into tears after the pick.
"I'm just so happy for him, so happy," Marcus said. "But it's not the end of the world. We are going to see each other again. I'll send him some flowers and some fruit."
Eight minutes later, it was Marcus' turn. Houston snagged the 6-9, 235-pound power forward at No. 14.
"When I went for the workout [in Houston], I just thought it was a great fit," Marcus said. "They don't really have a scoring forward, so I feel like I'll fit right in with those guys. [New coach Kevin McHale] was a great player; he can relate to me being the same type of player, and I can learn some new things from him."
Marcus averaged 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. His scoring increased all 3 years at Kansas, going from 7.4 as a freshman to 12.8 as a sophomore.
As for Markieff, who worked out with the Sixers last week, the 6-10, 245-pound power forward averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds last season as a junior, leading the Jayhawks to the Elite Eight before losing to Virginia Commonwealth. Markieff averaged 24.4 minutes a game, shot 58.8 percent from the field and improved his outside game, shooting 42.4 percent on 59 three-point attempts.
Kansas was 95-14 with the Morris twins.
The twins led Prep Charter to back-to-back PIAA Class AA titles in 2006 and '07. The 2006 title was the first time a Public League school won the state championship.
The pair are the first Philadelphia-area players to be drafted in the first round in the same year since Episcopal Academy stars Gerald Henderson (12th overall by Charlotte) and Wayne Ellington (28th overall by Minnesota) were selected in 2009. They are also only the third set of twins taken in the first round, since the modern NBA draft era began in 1966. The Grant twins, Horace (No. 10 by Chicago, 1987) and Harvey (No. 12 by Washington, 1988); and in 2008, the Lopez twins, Brook (No. 10 by New Jersey) and Robin (No. 15 by Phoenix), are the others.
The separation was a long time coming, but it also marks a new chapter for brothers born 7 minutes apart, drafted 8 minutes apart and now set to play 1,013 miles apart.