Truong twins making impact for Flames
FRONT ROYAL — Brad Foster didn’t expect much when he first heard that twins Eric and Michael Truong wanted to play for the Front Royal Flames last year. Once the Front Royal Flames boys basketball coach saw them on the court, though, his opinion quickly changed.
“The first day I saw them and I saw two little scrawny Asian twins, and their dad was saying they’re good point guards, and so I didn’t think much of it when I saw them,” Foster said. “But the minute they hit the basketball court they electrified the whole place.”
Eric and Michael Truong, who live in Winchester, tried out for the Flames, a homeschool team, midway through last year. This season, as freshman, they are making a much bigger impact on the team. Eric Truong is averaging 22.1 points per game, while Michael Truong is averaging 17.3 per game.
Foster said that the pair has helped his program, which usually struggles.
“Usually we’re in the bottom tier of the talent level, but with the twins this year they’ve brought us into the middle of the pack,” Foster said. “With them still being young, we’ve got a bright future for the team.”
The Truong twins began playing basketball just four years ago, and have progressed quickly. They immediately had great ball-handling skills, which caught the eye of many that watched them play.
“Most people they start off with fundamentals, but we started off backwards,” Eric Truong said. “We started out like street ball first.”
Michael Truong added, “Most people start out with fundamentals and then once they get that down they get the fancy stuff.
“A lot of people said we started out with the fancy stuff and with the talent with that, and then we developed the fundamentals.”
Michael Truong is the Flames’ point guard, while his brother is the shooting guard. The pair practice year-round and also play Amateur Athletic Union basketball in Loudoun County and are coached by Eric Williams.
The pair said playing AAU has helped their games a lot over the last few years.
“It’s different, you get to travel around,” Eric Truong said of AAU. “It’s a lot more fast-paced.”
The pair also practice for a few hours every day at Body Renew Fitness in Winchester. They said the fact that they have each other has helped them get better at the game quicker.
“It helps with your practice, because normally people go out there and shoot by themselves and go rebound the ball themselves,” Michael Truong said. “But we play one-on-one, and it’s more efficient.”
Two years ago the Truong twins played for Millbrook’s JV squad, but last year the family decided to pull them out of public schools and homeschool them.
Their father, James, said their grades are very important to them, and they must make good grades to play.
“We’re very proud of them, and they do well in school. That’s one thing we do emphasize to them,” James Truong said. “My wife she says they cannot play unless they get a 4.0 in school. That’s the bottom line. She will not take anything less than that. They are aware and they know that.”
The twins said they also spend a lot of time doing things like cardio and working out to be complete players. They both said they went to get stronger to become even better players.
It’s certainly working out for them so far this season. Eric Truong leads the team with 1.5 steals per game, and is also shooting 59.6 percent (187-for-314) from the floor. He is also shooting 50.4 percent (66-for-131) from 3-point range. Eric Truong said he had eight 3-pointers in one game, and scored 40 points in a game against Central Virginia Homeschool earlier this season.
Michael Truong is averaging 2.3 assists per game and 1.2 steals. He is shooting 56.3 percent (139-for-247) from the floor. He is also shooting 36-for-79 from 3-point range (52.2 percent), and is shooting a team-best 81.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The pair also know each other so well, which helps them out on the court to be even more successful.
“We know how to read each other’s minds,” Michael Truong said. “I know if he’s going to back door cut, or what he’s going to do. I know if he’s going to rebound or he’s going to shoot. We have a twin telepathy.”
The pair said they also push each other to make each other better in every facet of the game.
Foster said the other players on the team have accepted them and are happy to play with them.
“The chemistry on the team has just been tremendous this year,” Foster said. “There’s no inner conflicts or personality conflicts or anything on the team at all.”
The Flames are 14-11 and have their biggest games of the season still to come. The Flames will be in the Virginia Homeschool boys basketball tournament on Feb. 27-28 in Roanoke, and in the East Coast Homeschool Basketball Championships on March 10-14 at Liberty University. The East Coast tournament is run by Front Royal resident and Flames girls basketball coach Chris Davis.
Defense has been one of the biggest problems for the Flames this season, but they still have some time to improve in that area.
“We just have to stop [the] other team from scoring more than we do as a team,” Michael Truong said. “We’re still improving, so it’s all good. By the time we get to the East Coast tournament, which we have each year, I think we should be fine.”
There’s no question that Eric and Michael Truong should be fine as they continue to improve their games. They said they have already received interest from colleges, including Liberty University.
Foster said they have scouts come watch their games, and he gets emails regularly from other players who are interested in joining the team and playing with the twins.
“Even though they’re young, people are already taking notice,” Foster said. “If their bodies mature physically, they have a very, very good opportunity to play college basketball.
“They have a very bright future in basketball and they work hard at it.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com