Twins could face each other for Pacificwide hoop title
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Never has the Pacificwide Open Holiday Basketball Tournament seen the likes of William and Wayne Mobley, identical twins toiling for different teams.
They played high school and college ball together and joined the Air Force together in 1991. They even hold the same rank, technical sergeant.
Now, 15 years after they took that oath of enlistment, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound post players are rivals, facing each other for the first time, William playing for the host Osan Defenders and Wayne for Okinawa’s Kadena Falcons, each entering the tournament unbeaten and harboring hopes of capturing the title.
“All our lives, we’ve been on the same team. This will be different. We’re looking forward to it,” Wayne said hours before the tournament’s double-elimination playoffs began Monday.
The Mobley twins grew up in Philadelphia, played for Abraham Lincoln High School, then briefly at Alvernia College, a liberal arts school in Reading, Pa., before joining the Air Force via the “buddy system,” which kept them together through basic training and technical school.
They then went their separate ways, Williams to Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and Wayne to Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
“First time we didn’t sleep in the same room,” William said.
They would see each other from time to time while on leave, but not until William got assigned to Osan’s 51st Civil Engineering Squadron this year did he get the opportunity to face Wayne, with Kadena’s 18th Mission Support Squadron, on the court. The Defenders are expected to travel to Okinawa in March for the Kadena Klassic as well.
Though they’d not faced each other in competitive play before the Osan tournament, they did go one-on-one back in the day in their old neighborhood.
“It would swing back and forth,” Wayne recalled. “I’d kill Will on some days, and other days, he would make me look totally stupid.”
Wayne’s main strength, as he tells it, is working inside on the boards.
“I’m not as fast and I don’t jump as high as I used to. Age has taken a few inches off my vertical,” he said.
William considers himself more of a cerebral player.
“I’m thinking the game all the time, trying to outthink the opponent,” he said.
Even with so much at stake, the brothers still give each other tips and hints to improve their game. Wayne has watched most of William’s games in the tournament, and vice versa.
“It’s all in an effort to make each other better,” Wayne said.
But should the teams — and the Mobley twins — get their wish and meet at center court for all the marbles on Wednesday, “I’m just going to pat him on the butt and then go after him,” William said.
Interservice basketball2006 20th Anniversary Pacificwide Open Holiday Basketball TournamentAt Osan Fitness & Sports Complex, Osan Air Base, South Korea
Day 2 results
Men’s double-elimination playoffs
Game 1-Osan Air Base, South Korea, 104, Wonju/Camp Long, South Korea, 37Game 2-Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, 87, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, 81Game 3-Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, 104, Suwon Air Base, South Korea, 72Game 4-Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, 79, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 69Game 5-Andersen Air Force Base 87, Wonju/Camp Long 69; Wonju/Camp Long eliminatedGame 6-Camp Humphreys 82, Suwon Air Base 77; Suwon Air Base eliminatedGame 7-Osan Air Base 89, Kunsan Air Base 58Game 8-Kadena Air Base 94, Yongsan Garrison 83
Game 9-Camp Humphreys vs. Kunsan Air BaseGame 10-Andersen Air Force Base vs. Yongsan GarrisonGame 11-Osan Air Base vs. Kadena Air BaseGame 12-Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winnerGame 13-Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 winner
Game 14-Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winnerGame 15-Game 11 winner vs. Game 13 winner, if Game 11 winner loses Game 14Women’s double-elimination playoffs
Game 1-Osan Air Base, South Korea, 66, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, 59Game 2-Mystics, Okinawa, 90, Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, 65
Game 3-Osan Air Base vs. MysticsGame 4-Camp Humphreys vs. Yongsan GarrisonGame 5-Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner
Game 6-Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winnerGame 7-Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, if Game 3 winner loses Game 6.