Dec 082011
 
Authors: Andrew Schaller

When playing the game of basketball, players need to be in tune with one another, get along and know each other’s tendencies on the court. So why not play with someone you’ve known your whole life — your sister.

This was the rationale for sisters Amber and Mandy Makeever, as well as Kim and Hanne Mestdagh, who all decided to play basketball for CSU.

These are two sets of sisters who have a few things in common: their love of basketball and their occasional fights with each other growing up during basketball games, but each have taken a very different route to get to where they are today.

Twins Amber and Mandy Makeever have been virtually inseparable since their birth on Oct. 2, 1992.

They went to Peaster (TX) High School, where they played basketball, track and field, cross country and volleyball together. And upon graduation, they knew they wanted to go to college together.

“That was our first decision: that we wanted to stay together,” Mandy Makeever said. “So that was a main influence on coming here.”

While both have had to take a medical redshirt (Mandy last year, and Amber this year), when the two sisters have been on the court together, they have extraordinary chemistry.

“We haven’t had many times that they’ve both been healthy since they’ve been here,” CSU coach Kristen Holt said. “(But when they do play together) I noticed in transition, they can find each other very easily.”

The Makeevers, who live together in Fort Collins, took a somewhat different path to CSU than sisters Kim and Hanne Mestdagh, who grew up in Ieper, Belgium.

Playing together at CSU has been a reunion of sorts for the Mestdaghs, as Kim Mestdagh has spent the last three years in Fort Collins, while Hanne Mestdagh went to school at St. Katelijne Waver sports school, about an hour-and-a-half drive from their hometown.

At the end of her junior year, Kim Mestdagh started recruiting younger sister Hanne Mestdagh to travel across the world, as she did, and play basketball in Fort Collins.

“She kinda looked at CSU, but she wasn’t sure if I wanted her here,” Kim Mestdagh said. “I think maybe a month before she signed, I like told her like, ‘Well, maybe you should come here,’ and then she got really interested.”

Following that conversation, Hanne Mestdagh came to Fort Collins, where she had a confidant in Kim, who she could rely on to help make her transition to America an easy one.

“I think it helps when you have each other already,” Hanne Mestdagh said. “We just talk in Dutch and then (that) gets rid of the homesickness.”

The bonds of the Mestdagh and Makeever sisters, as well as cousins Taylor and Corey Steven on Holt’s staff have made the Rams closer than ever, according to Amber Makeever.

“Other people that aren’t related to someone else on the team, they see that relationship and see how close that is and kind of wants more relationships like that on the team,” she said. “I think that’s brought like everyone closer together.”

It’s brought the team together, making them all less like a team and more like a family.

Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.com

Kim and Hanne Mestdagh
· Grew up in Ieper, Belgium
· Each are fluent in Dutch, French and English, with Dutch being their first language
· Father, Phillip, is a club basketball coach
· Brother, Robin, played for Eastern Kentucky University from 2006-10

Amber and Mandy Makeever
· Twin sisters from Peaster, Texas
· Lettered in four varsity sports together in high school
· Father, Mark, coaches at alma mater Peaster High School
· Received Texas Girls Coaches Association all-star recognition in high school

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