Staying together was a big factor for Augusta Christian basketball players Ashton and Austin Roper when they were deciding where to play college basketball.
On Monday, the identical twins signed to attend and play basketball for Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C.
“It was very important, I guess, because we’ve always been planning to do this together since we were little kids,” Austin said. “That, and we took a couple of visits to the school and we kind of liked it and the coach was very persistent with us.”
The guards helped lead the Lions to a 20-6 record in 2013 and to the semifinals of the South Carolina Independent Schools Association state AAA basketball tournament. Ashton was named to the SCISA Region 1-AAA all-region team, and Austin received all-region honorable mention.
The pair will be a part of CIU’s inaugural basketball season, playing in the National Christian College Athletic Association in 2013-14.
“I think they’re a perfect fit for a school that’s instituting a program because they’re the kind of kids you would want to build something around,” said Augusta Christian head basketball coach Marty Griffin.
Ashton is looking forward to what he and his brother might be able to accomplish with the school.
“Leaving a pretty high standard legacy, you could say, I guess, and being a part of history,”
The Ropers’ father, Tony, played basketball at Georgetown University and Savannah State University and was thrilled about his sons’ accomplishment.
“It’s a very exciting time for our family,” he said. “Their mother and I are proud they chose to go to school and further their education, play basketball and further their relationship with God.”
Austin plans to study psychology, and Ashton is looking at youth ministries.