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Hannah and Heather Cain, Gloucester High/Brandeis women’s basketball

Brandeis University

Finally, the Cain sisters are back together again. Hannah, 22 (left), is a senior point guard and captain, and Heather, 20, is a junior shooting guard for 9-5 Brandeis. This is their first season as college teammates. Heather enrolled at Trinity College out of Gloucester High, but transferred to Brandeis after her freshman season. Hannah, who sat out last year after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament following a stellar sophomore season, has started every game, averaging 9 points and 4.6 rebounds while pacing the Judges in assists and steals. Heather is posting 7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 17 minutes per game.

Q. How tough was it sitting out last year, particularly with missing a chance to play with Heather?


HANNAH: I was really excited to play last year, especially with Heather here and having a chance to play with her again. Plus, it was my junior year and I felt I had so much more to offer than in the past. I also knew the potential the team had and it was difficult to be out. At the same time. I kind of accepted this was what it was. It wasn’t a waste of a season; I was able to watch and learn. It was weird, too, because in high school we were supposed to get three years together and because of injuries we only had about one season together.

Q. The best part of being on the same team with your sister?

HANNAH: It’s nice. We’re away at school and it’s like a comfort thing. It reminds us of being at home. Playing, she knows what I’m going to do and I know what she’s going to do. It’s fun. It brings out different dynamics. We can joke around and know we’re not going to take anything personally.


HEATHER: I would probably say the chemistry. Sometimes you want to give constructive criticism and there’s nothing personal about it and no feelings will be hurt.

Q. Is there a difficult part?

A. Heather: No, not at all. It’s kind of funny. We might have a 5-second or a 10-second sister argument and our teammates might feel a little anxious that we’re going to get in a fight, but then it’s over. We’re real comfortable with each other.

Hannah: Some people think it would be. When we tell people we play together at the same school some say it must be hard. It’s not. We never come across anything difficult. We don’t play the same position so we’re not competing for playing time against each other. Even if we were, I don’t think it would be a problem because we want the other to do as well as possible.

Q. Describe Heather’s game.

HANNAH: She’s a very smart player. She’s always one play ahead in reading her defender and teammates to see what they’re doing next. She knows what I’m doing next and knows what I want to do before I’m going to do it sometimes. I feel like once I make a move to drive to the hoop she relocates and knows where I’m going to get her the ball. She’s always thinking and every move has a purpose.

Q. Describe Hannah’s game.

HEATHER: She’s really, really aggressive. Offensively, she’s really explosive. She’s a 5-6 guard and she outrebounds the 6-foot posts we play. She’s extremely strong.


Q. Are your games more similar or dissimilar?

A. Hannah: I’d say similar. I think we’re both more defensive than offensive. We both take pride in stopping the people we’re going against, really locking down an opponent. Both of us like to rebound and we’re pretty aggressive. Offensively, she’s more of a shooter than I am and I guess I’m more of a driver, creating for other people. She can do that as well.

Q. So who wins when you play one-on-one or a shooting game?

A. Heather: We don’t play. When we were younger we always came as a package. We wanted to play on the same team.

Hannah: We don’t really play. I guess it would be a draw. We try to stay away from those games. We might get mad at each other. We always tried to end up on the same team instead of against each other. We preferred that. We still come as a package today.

Q. Who were your role models?

HEATHER: My parents [Tom and Holly], and growing up I always looked up to my older brother [Mike]. He’s five years older than I am and I used to think he was so cool and so good at sports, I wanted to be like him. He played baseball at UMass Boston and was a pitcher.

HANNAH: My parents and my brother. Both of my parents have a real good work ethic and neither of them complained about anything while we were growing up. It was always do your best with what’s given to you. Work with it and don’t complain. If you work hard, you’ll get where you need to be. We started playing with my brother’s friends and we were always outside. The only rule was, we could play with them if we didn’t cry. No matter how hard you got fouled, you couldn’t cry.


Allen Lessels’s e-mail can be reached at llen.lessels@lessfam321@gmail.com.