Commentary

Mater Dei's twin towers headline McDonald's All-American Game roster

Updated: February 18, 2009, 6:40 PM ET
By Ryan Canner-O'Mealy | ESPNRISE.com

Twins David and Travis Wear do everything together.

[+] EnlargeDavid Wear
Doug Steinbock for ESPN.comDavid, the older of the Wear twins, has become an unstoppable force when teamed with his brother.

The 6-foot-10, 230-pound forwards play basketball year-round together, whether it's for national prep power Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) or AAU juggernaut Pump N Run.

When not on the court, the brothers remain inseparable. Trash-talk-filled pingpong games in the garage. Intense video game battles in the family room. Heated one-on-one matchups in the backyard.

"We have a friendly rivalry in every aspect of our lives, not just pertaining to basketball," Travis says. "It's definitely helped us grow and become better students and athletes."

Despite all the competition, there's no getting between them. They might constantly argue when competing, but once the game ends, their bond is as strong as ever.

"They're the worst critics of each other, but they're each other's best friend, too," Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight says. "In the early days, I'd split them up and put them in separate rooms on road trips, but they'd end up back in the same room."

Next year, they will be heading to North Carolina, where they'll undoubtedly be sharing a room. But first, they're going to South Beach.

McDonald's Game

The 32nd McDonald's All American Game will take place on April 1 at the University of Miami's BankUnited Center. You can watch the game on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. Story / Roster

Canner-O'Mealy: Mater Dei's twin towers headline McDonald's roster

The Wears were named Wednesday to the 32nd annual McDonald's All-American Game, taking place in Miami on April 1 (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). They are the fourth set of twins (following fellow Californians Jason and Jarron Collins, Brook and Robin Lopez, and Ashley and Courtney Paris) to make the game.

It has a chance to be the cap to a magical year for the Wears, who have led the Monarchs to the No. 1 ranking in the ESPN RISE FAB 50. Success is nothing new to the twins, who have won 65 of their past 66 high school games, while claiming state titles the past two years.

At times, winning has come at the expense of individual accolades. Until Stanford-bound Andy Brown went down for the year with a knee injury, the Monarchs had a starting lineup that included five elite Division I players (including UCLA-bound Tyler Lamb and USC-bound Gary Franklin). So while other McDonald's All-Americans routinely go for 30-plus points, the Wears are part of a more balanced attack.

"You've got two kids who at any other high school would have averaged 25 to 30 points a game," McKnight says. "But they were content to play with five Division I players and win state championships."

Travis Wear
Doug Steinbock for ESPN.comTravis Wear and his brother are headed to North Carolina in the fall.

It wasn't always easy.

As freshmen, the Wears were thrust onto a varsity squad featuring three future Division I players in Taylor King (Villanova), Alex Jacobson (Arizona) and Kamyron Brown (Oregon). They came off the bench that year as the Monarchs advanced to the state finals, but their biggest education came in between games.

"Those practices were pretty intense, like a college practice," says David, who's older than Travis by one minute. "I was definitely more focused when I came into practice every day because I had to earn a spot with those guys."

The Wears played mostly on the perimeter that year despite being 6-foot-6. As they got older, taller and stronger, their games expanded to where they can play comfortably inside and outside.

"Guys at the next level are a lot stronger and quicker, so it's going to help to be more versatile," Travis says.

McKnight expects his two stars to thrive in Chapel Hill not only because of their skills but because of their character. They are used to playing a team game and already have experience coming off the bench.

But for the rest of this season, they will be front and center. The Monarchs will need a big final month from the Wears if they hope to three-peat as state champs.

For now, that's the only thing the Wears are concerned with. They've gotten this far by prioritizing team goals over individual achievements, and that's not about to change.

But that doesn't mean they can't get excited about the McDonald's game.

"I was overwhelmed when I found out I made it," Travis says. "It's something every kid wants to do."

As always, it was something the Wear twins wanted to do together. And now they get their chance.

Ryan Canner-O'Mealy covers high school sports for ESPN RISE.

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