January 11, 1996 in Washington Voices

Partners Apart Kallas Sisters Were The Perfect Double-Team At Central Valley, But Now Are Wearing Jerseys Of A Different Color

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Their father likes to say that the longest Andrea and Angela Kallas have been separated was the six minutes between their births.

Now the twins attend different Valley high schools and play basketball for different teams.

Angela plays for the West Valley Eagles and Andrea for the Central Valley Bears where both are non-starting guards.

The two had played their sophomore year and begun this season at CV. In December Angela transferred to WV. She was eligible because she was living in Millwood, the result of a family situation no one would elaborate upon.

“A month ago I came to live with my grandmother,” said Angela. “It was hard to go back and forth and I had respect for the coach here.”

Her decision was difficult for CV coach Dale Poffenroth. Following consultation with their parents, he agreed to the change.

“The big thing was family turmoil,” he said. “I’m not sure it was good for us not having Angela here. Maybe it was best for them.”

At CV the two, he said, were known as “the twins”.

“Long range, hopefully the family thing settles down, they can have their own identity and be Angela and Andrea,” said Poffenroth.

West Valley coach Mark Kuipers has welcomed the addition to his team and said Angela’s teammates have accepted her.

“One of the reasons is she’s so unselfish on the floor,” said Kuipers. “She sees the whole court and whoever’s open, she passes.”

Their dad, John, is a West Valley graduate who took a job as a police officer in Western Washington when and Andrea were in second grade.

They attended schools near Sea-Tac and made varsity at Foster High School, a state Class A power, as freshmen.

With teammates LaShonda Fowler and Sheri Apodaca they won four three-on-three tournaments, including a national title.

But as gangs infested their schools - the girls were once the object of a death threat because of their involvement in an eighth-grade championship game - the Kallas family decided it was time to return to the Valley.

John commuted to his job last year, and currently is on disability leave.

What defines the Kallases’ basketball is their fiery demeanor and flamboyant style born on the playgrounds of Western Washington.

“A lot of people say we play too much like street ball,” said Andrea. “But I think it got us ready for high school.”

They compete as hard against each other on and off the field as they do against the opposition, one reason Poffenroth sees the move as positive for both.

For identical twins, it wasn’t an easy move to make.

“We had never been separated in a game,” said Andrea. “I didn’t know if I could get along without her. She’s with me in every game in my heart. I can always feel her on the floor.”

Said Angela, “They always used to say ‘Kallas and Kallas’ in a game. Now it’s just one. That’s weird.”

Last summer Angela met West Valley players when the WV and CV combined to form an AAU team coached by her uncle Gust, a longtime CV school district teacher and former basketball coach at Freeman High School.

At first, she said, only her dad supported her decision to move to West Valley because they thought she was going to a lower level of play.

Now, everyone is in agreement. “We have one daughter that’s a Bear and one that’s an Eagle, my school,” said John. “So far it’s worked out well.”

The family’s hope is that both schools and their daughters will qualify for state, one in Tacoma and the other in Seattle. Their fear is that the teams would be scheduled to play at the same time.

Still, both girls are happy with their circumstance, have learned to play apart, and the coaches of both teams are satisfied that it is for the best.

“We’re seeing two fairly happy kids now,” said Kuipers. “Angela took a risk and it’s working.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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