Aspiring minds think alike, especially when they’ve been together for 18 years.
“The experience of a lifetime,” Gonzaga freshman Kayleigh Truong calls the Zags’ upcoming trip to Europe.
Five minutes later, her twin sister Kaylynne said the same thing.
Both talked about food, friendships and fraternal bonds – their own and the unique one that’s developing at GU.
Highly recruited guards from Houston, the Truongs had a common goal for college – they would play for the same one. But which?
Gonzaga had it all: academics, on-court success and a family atmosphere.
“And summer here is great – that’s one thing I don’t miss about Houston,” Kayleigh said.
GU also had the Wirth twins, LeeAnne and Jenn, who three years ago faced the same decision.
“They’re hilarious,” Kaylynne said. “They actually helped us. When we visited campus, we asked them, how did they decide where to go?
“They sat down and talked to each other and family, and that’s what we did – we always were going to stick together.”
Whether they’ll be on the court at the same time remains to be seen, but history is on their side. The Wirths, both 6-foot-2 forwards, each got double-digit minutes as true freshmen.
Going into their junior year, they could be starters at twin post.
The future looks just as bright for the Truongs, 5-8 guards with complementary games.
Conveniently for the Zags, Kayleigh is a natural point and Kaylynne a strong shooter. One already can imagine the 2020-21 squad with two sets of twins on the court at the same time.
Coach Lisa Fortier hasn’t announced a decision on redshirts, but with presumptive backcourt starters Jessie Loera and Katie Campbell entering their senior year, it’s likely the Truongs will get quality minutes as true freshmen.
“Kayleigh has some great natural leadership characteristics that we really look for in point guards,” Fortier said in November, after the twins were signed.
Her stats are remarkable. As a senior at Jersey Village High School, she averaged 16.5 points, 6 rebounds and 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals to help the Falcons go 33-3 overall. Kayleigh had 24 double-doubles as a senior.
Kaylynne’s senior numbers were even more impressive: 19.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
“She finds her way to the ball and then knows exactly what to do with it when she gets it,” Fortier said. “She is also going to be a player who can really stretch the defense with her shooting ability.”
The Truongs aren’t the only newcomers. In addition to Vanderbilt transfer Cierra Walker (who must sit out this year), the Zags have true freshman Eliza Hollingsworth from Melbourne, Australia.
As with the Truongs, the path to Gonzaga was paved by past success.
As she considered her options, Hollingsworth connected with another Melbournian, former GU point guard Georgia Stirton.
“I wanted to get her insight,” said Hollingsworth, who rose through the same club as Stirton. “She thought the world of Gonzaga, and that was a big help.”
Her official visit sealed the deal for Hollingsworth, a 6-2 forward who got a head start on her international ambitions with a tour of Eastern Europe.
Four weeks after flying halfway across the world to join her new teammates, Hollingsworth will do it again on Saturday.
Hollingsworth was already committed to GU when she got the news about the European trip.
“When coach Lisa called, I was gobsmacked,” Hollingsworth said.
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