Declan twins talk about their bond off and on the court

Lucy LaValley, sports reporter

Twin siblings Declan and Connor Dillon came to the Winona State University men’s basketball team this past year, bringing their personal and athletic compatibility with them.
Originally from Peoria, Illinois, the twins started playing basketball at a very young age because there were basketball camps in their hometown, which they became part of.
“We started with bitty basketball, which is what it is called where I am from. I did that in kindergarten, first and second grade,” C. Dillon said.
“We started playing organized basketball in the fifth grade, so grade school started in sixth grade and we went from there,” D. Dillon added,
The twins have their parents to thank for getting them interested in the sport in the first place, they said.
“I started because my mom and dad played growing up and I kind of enjoyed it as a kid, so I just kept to it,” C. Dillon said.
Playing college basketball together was not the biggest factor when it came time to choose where the Dillon twins would go to college, but when it came down to it, they are happy they get to keep playing together.
“Both of us thought about going to school together the whole time, but we didn’t know for sure if we wanted that,” C. Dillon said.
Choosing to travel to play for Winona State was a big life decision, but ultimately, the choice became clear once they met the people they would be working with for the next four years, including both coaches and players.
“The coaches were making us a priority and we formed a good relationship with the coaches early on. I also knew some of the players from growing up nearby them,” C. Dillon said. “We kind of knew this league was a good league to play in and it was a really good opportunity for us.”
Not only do the twins bring their individual talents to the team, but they also come with years of knowledge of each other’s strengths in the game.
“We know each other’s strengths and what we can do on the court. I know what he can do best and he knows what I can do best too,” D. Dillon said. “We kind of just feed off each other when we are playing together.”
The brothers both truly enjoy being Warriors and owe much of that experience to the other players and coaches.
“My favorite part of playing for Winona is probably the teammates.They are a good group of guys to be around,” D. Dillon said.
“All the coaches, too, they are understanding of what we like to do and everyone is just good to be around,” C. Dillon said.
Looking back on this year‘s chaotic season, C. Dillon had one moment that stuck out to him: when Head Coach Todd Eisner got his 500th win.
“We ended up sweeping that weekend and he got his 500 wins and in the locker room, we all went crazy for no reason and just started spraying water bottles at him,” C. Dillon said.
Basketball takes up large part of the twins‘ lives, but when they are not on the court, they still like to hang out with their teammates.
“We hang out with our teammates and play random video games,” C. Dillon said.
The twins struggled to describe each other, much like anyone with siblings would struggle to describe their own, but they each wholeheartedly said their brotherhood is ‘probably‘ not the only thing keeping them together.
“If we weren’t twins, I would still probably hangout with him,” C. Dillon said.
The brothers wrapped up their first basketball season as Winona State Warriors back in February and are excited for the upcoming fall semester.