Basketball in their blood: Ayrault twins dominate the game

By Grace Cueter and Olivia Dodenhoff

This year’s basketball season has brought on excitement for fans watching the Ayrault twins’ successes on the court. Juniors Annabel and Adam Ayrault have drawn the attention of many, including students and members of the community, due to their outstanding performances during games. The twins have both put up 30 individual points on the scoreboard during a single game. 

Girls’ varsity basketball coach Gary Bennett says that Annabel’s leadership characteristics are shown when she plays and her sportsmanship among her teammates.

“Number one, I think she is very humble,” Bennett said. “She’s very selfless. She has a really good heart. She is very kind. She is a very good basketball player. She understands the game really well, but I think being a good teammate just puts her over the top.”

Her title of team captain is not the only way that Annabel is a prominent player and teammate on the court. She has been able to apply her leadership skills during games and Bennett sees how her leadership shines through and how this reflects over the team’s overall play.

“I think other kids look up to her for direction when we are out on the floor playing, and I think they are all more confident when she is out on the floor playing,” Bennett said.

Even though they aren’t on the same team, growing stronger in the game together has made the sport extra special for the twins. Between their competitive personalities, Annabel and Adam feed off each other’s eagerness to excel at their level of play. With their own individual basketball experiences, the twins guide each other through the ups and downs they encounter throughout the season.

“Having a twin brother who is as passionate as I am about the sport is super motivating and helpful because he always pushes me to be better and gives me advice,” Annabel Ayrault said.

In addition to the work she puts in with her brother, Annabel is constantly working with her teammates on skills and connection. She exceeds the expectations of a team leader by acknowledging the success of her teammates, especially following the team’s recent victory against Grosse Pointe South.

“I see my hard work as well as all of my teammates’ hard work paying off in games when we all can trust each other and play collectively, especially during the recent win over South,” Annabel Ayrault said.

Both Annabel and Adam are grateful for their opportunity to play at the varsity level for the entirety of their high school experience. Adam says that the high level of play has taught him valuable lessons in not only athletics, but in both trust and leadership. 

I have become more of a leader on and off the court,” Adam Ayrault said. “As a player, I feel my game has changed from all standpoints. I’ve put in a lot of work over the past couple years and it’s been paying off.”

The twins come from a family where basketball is on their natural life path. With parents, grandparents, cousins and older siblings that have and are currently playing basketball at a collegiate level, their participation and performance in the sport is expected. Their ability to have a closer look at the lives of college basketball players has allowed them to gather many tips and tricks from a young age. 

With their father as a coach, Adam’s family and basketball life are only more connected. The twins’ father Andrew Ayrault has been able to view their growth for the entirety of their basketball career. He values the intensity and intelligence that Adam brings to the sport and his team. 

“Adam has worked on his offense over the last year or so, so he brings some matchup difficulties for other teams trying to guard us,” Andrew Ayrault said. “If they concentrate too much on what he can do, other players are able to step up to make plays.”

While Adam is very powerful as an individual, his father respects his appreciation for his teammates. Adam acknowledges the importance of his teammates, because without all of their hard work such as by setting up plays, making passes and focusing on strong communication, victory would not be as attainable for the team.

He realizes that any success he has playing basketball is the result of hard work and the help of his teammates,” Andrew Ayrault said. “He understands that while he might be able to help win games as an individual player, it takes a team to win seasons.”

Their father has noticed the time that both twins have dedicated to improving their skills in the sport. He says that Annabel works for hours each week to build up her strength and perfect her shot. 

She has really good physical attributes for basketball as well, but that hasn’t stopped her from spending hours shooting and honing her skills,” Andrew Ayrault said. “Also, she has spent an enormous amount of time working out with weights and getting stronger.”

While much of the growth Andrew Ayrault has seen in his children is related to basketball itself, he has also seen their growth as individuals. He says that the sport has taught them lessons in setting goals for themselves and handling interpersonal relationships. 

As for their future growth, Adam speaks for both him and his sister when he says that their love for the sport is so strong that they will take any opportunity to play that they are given.

I’d like to play college basketball,” Adam Ayrault said. “It’s one of those things where you love it so much that it doesn’t matter where you play, you just want to keep playing.”

Both twins can see a future in the sport and feel that the lessons learned on the court during their high school years will help them attain that goal. Bennett says that one of the many values he has taught is confidence. 

“When you have a really good basketball player, you want them to be assertive,” Bennett said. “[We want them] to assert themselves and go out and do things they can do without us having to tell.”

I think both Adam and Annabel have the desire to improve and can be as good as they want to be.”

— Andrew Ayrault, boys varsity basketball coach