Triple Threat: Three Sets of Twins Competing as UMKC Student-Athletes

Seeing double on the court and track
Three sets of twins' faces

Last year, 3,664,292 people were born. It’s estimated just 3 percent of those born were twins. So it’s safe to say giving birth to twins is rare.

What’s even more rare is three sets of twins ending up on the same college campus as student-athletes. Right now at UMKC, there are roughly 220 student-athletes competing on various teams. Among them are six twins who make up just 2 percent of that total.

For Precious and Promise Idiaru, Elauni and Emani Bennett, and Jack and Bret Beard, UMKC always felt like the right place to be.

“Being so close to home is one of the main reasons we chose UMKC,” said freshman Emani Bennett. “Our high school teammates, high school coaches and AAU coaches still get to come and see us play.”

Elauni and Emani Bennett
Freshmen | UMKC Women’s Basketball

Twin women's basketball players on the court

If you’re in need of a quick way to tell these two apart, just look at their jump shot.

“I’m a lefty and Emani’s a righty,” said Elauni Bennett.

The two freshmen guards didn’t have to travel far to join the UMKC women’s basketball team. Just seven months removed from their high school graduation at Lee’s Summit North, these young student-athletes are already adjusted to college life. It’s something they attribute to having each other.

“Coming into college is an adjustment for all freshmen, but we have each other so it makes it a lot easier,” Elauni said

Off the court, the Bennetts bring impressive high school resumes with them to UMKC and despite being identical twins, the two sisters have different interests when it comes to their education.

“We’re different in a lot of ways, and that’s something our coach was big on is celebrating our individuality,” said Emani.

Emani is majoring in psychology, while Elauni plans to pursue a future in health sciences.

Precious and Promise Idiaru
Sophomores | UMKC Men’s Basketball

Twin men's basketball players on the courtUnlike the Bennett twins, Precious and Promise traveled a long way to land on the UMKC men’s basketball team: 4,743 miles, to be exact. The brothers call Speyer, Germany, home just an hour south of Frankfurt, but being in the U.S. is nothing new to them. The Idiaru brothers came to the U.S. as high schoolers, competing in Los Angeles,.

"Precious and Promise were available late in the recruiting process, which ended up being a huge plus for Kansas City Basketball,” said head coach Marvin Menzies. “The twins are very high in character and in talent.”

Now in their second season with the Roos, both Precious and Promise say there have been challenges being twins on a new team.

“The coaches had trouble telling us apart,” said Promise. “To make it easier on them we decided that Precious would start wearing a headband.”

Even with their headband idea, it wasn’t an instant fix.

“There was an incident last year at LSU where the coaches had difficulties telling us apart even with the headband and accidentally kept yelling out the wrong names to each twin.”

While telling them apart on the court may be difficult for new eyes, things might be easier for their UMKC professors. Like the Bennett sisters, Precious and Promise have chosen different paths for their education. Precious intends to study nutrition, while Promise has his sights set on a career in business and marketing.

Jack and Bret Beard
Sophomores | UMKC Track and Field

Two men's track runners are twins

Blink and you might miss this set of twins. Jack and Bret Beard are coming off a successful freshmen season at UMKC, one in which they both made strong showings at the Summit League Championships.

Being a college athlete also runs in the family. Their father was an All-American kicker at Friends University. Their older brother Braedan played Division I soccer at both Creighton and Drake Universities.

Like the Bennett sisters, Jack and Bret are competing for UMKC with a hometown crowd nearby. The Olathe Northwest graduates say their decision to come to UMKC can be attributed to the coaching staff, led by head coach Benaud Shirley, and being close to family.

"I love that my parents are able to come and support us and watch us compete," said Jack. "It gives us added motivation when they are at our meets."

When it comes to identifying them on the track, Bret says there is still the occasional confusion among their coaches. Whether they get mixed up or not, Bret admits it's special being able to compete alongside his brother.

"We don’t always compete in the same event but when we do I love being able to compete alongside my brother because we are creating life long memories together."

Both Beards are studying business administration at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

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