Two brothers grow up together, playing basketball against each other in their driveway, always competing. The two are very talented and get better because their toughest opponent is constantly pushing them to achieve that next level of their game.
Fast forward to now: those children have grown up, are in college and are matched up against each other in the gym at Piano Row. It happened on Saturday, Dec. 6, when the Emerson College Lions lost to the Brandeis University Judges 97-70.
With about four minutes left to go, Emerson junior guard Jeremy Shannon's younger brother Jaime, a freshman guard at Brandeis, checked into the game. The two traded three-pointers. The younger Shannon fouled his big brother twice, but also scored five points.
"I was really proud of the way he played and I feel I gave him a lot of confidence being that he played against me," the elder Shannon, a marketing communication major said.
The younger Shannon said playing against his brother really helped him relax and provide some valuable minutes off the bench.
"When I walked into the gym it felt like I was going there to watch him, like I had been watching him the past two years," the economics major said. "When I was actually playing it was like after his game was done and we were just fooling around."
The two have mainly played with and against each other in less competitive leagues during the summer. They didn't get a chance to team up in high school because Jaime chose to go to a different school.
"I was always in his shadow," he said. "I kind of wanted to make my own way, even though it didn't really work because everyone still knew him."
Leading up to the game, there was a lot of trash talk between the brothers, especially at the Thanksgiving dinner table, but once the two hit the court, only the proven player, Jeremy, did the talking.
"During the game I was just trying to earn my minutes," Jaime said. "His spot is more established than mine."
The elder Shannon and the Lions struggled against the Judges. Once again, they started off slow, missing their first seven shots, allowing Brandeis to jump out to an early 12-0 lead, a deficit Emerson would never fully recover from.
"I can't figure it out right now," said Head Coach Hank Smith about the team's starting woes. "We're just going to keep trying to work on it."
Junior center Bryan Rouse said Emerson was not prepared to face such a talented opponent. Brandeis was named by iCollege Hoops Illustrated/i as the best Division III team in the Northeast.
"We weren't ready to play and they're a better team right now," Jeremy said. "We are young and have a lot of improving to do before [the playoffs begin in] February."
Rouse led the Lions with 25 points.
Jeremy was not immune to the team's problems. The two-time Great Northeast Athletic Conference Player of the Week this year was never able to fully get going. He was whistled for four personal fouls, went 5 for 14 from the field, and scored only 15 points, well below his average of 26 per game.
"I don't think he had one of his better games," said Smith. "He gave a great effort, but he just didn't have it today."
Jeremy was a bit more critical of himself.
"They played a zone and we couldn't hit our jump shots," he said. "They kept me out of the lane, which is where I'm at my best."
Even though Brandeis won the game and Jeremy had his difficulties, he joked that he was still better than his younger brother. "Right now I know I'm the better player," he said. "He still hasn't beat me in one-on-one."
Jaime said he had some news for his brother.
"At this point I'm better because we haven't played in a year, so I have some new game he hasn't seen," he said. "Watch out."