CEDAR RAPIDS — The sport of basketball can bring siblings closer together.
This is especially true for three sets of siblings on the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams at Cedar Rapids Xavier this winter.
All three sets contain older brothers and younger sisters, as well as three captains and three freshmen. The sibling duos are senior Bryson Bastian and freshman Brielle Bastian, junior Jake Beckmann and freshman Aree Beckmann, and senior Kyle Moeder and freshman Mary Kate Moeder.
“I always try to do my best to support MK (Mary Kate),” Kyle said. “I support her by going to her games and always encouraging her in any way I possibly can. I am so proud of all her hard work.”
Kyle has supported his sister in basketball and in life.
“Kyle has been a role model and inspiration for me. I hope to be like him someday,” Mary Kate said. “I am so proud of the person and athlete he has become.”
Whether it is motivation or working out together, the Moeder’s help each other any way they can.
“After the games, we talk about how it went. I try to encourage her and give her confidence,” Kyle said. “Sometimes we both go out to the driveway, or we go to a gym and work on ball handling and shooting together; I just want to make her better.”
Mary Kate said she will put up a good fight, but Kyle always wins.
Growing up, the Bastians traveled to multiple cities and states, watching each other play.
“Since she was little, I went to every tournament I could go to. It was fun watching her grow up and get better,” Bryson said. “Now seeing her play varsity as a freshman is pretty cool. It will definitely help her in the future.”
Like the Moeders, they want to help make each other better.
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“I try to help Brielle dribble with her left hand,” Bryson said. “I will help her in whatever way I can.”
Hard work comes naturally for the Beckmann siblings — it is how they motivate each other.
“Jake plays one-on-one with me to help me get better, and he is always helpful when I ask him for advice,” Aree said. “It is really cool he is a captain as a junior because he has worked really hard for it. He motivates me to get better because of his work ethic.”
The Xavier girls’ team is 8-2, the boys 4-3. The return from the Christmas break to play Cedar Falls on Jan. 4, the boys’ game in Cedar Rapids and the girls’ game in Cedar Falls.