3 Mormon brothers grow together on and off the basketball court
BUENA VISTA, Va. — It's not unual for young athletes to be on the same team as their brother, possibly in high school or on a league team. But it's not very often that three siblings get the chance to play basketball together in a college starting line-up.
For the past two years, that's been the case for the Jacobson brothers at Southern Virginia University. The family from Kitty Hawk, N.C., stacks the team with guards Isaac and Anders and forward Jonathan Jacobson.
"From time to time I would have brothers on a team, but I never have three brothers on a team in 32 years of coaching," said head coach Tony Caputo.
Not only do they have the same last name, but all three Jacobson brothers look alike, which can be confusing for the opposing team.
"(In a recent game), one of the guys was guarding me," Jonathan said, "and another player on his team said, 'Hey, I'm guarding him,' and his teammate was like, 'What?' And he said, 'They're all twins, didn't you know that?' So I said, 'Uh, we're not twins, dude.' "
But playing together does more than confuse the other team: It's a dream come true for the young men's father.
"I think it's my dad's favorite fantasy," Anders said. "He comes to our games and looks like he is in heaven. He probably never imagined seeing all three of us playing together, but he loves it."
The two youngest brothers, Anders and Isaac, joined the team in the fall of 2010, but Jonathan just started playing with his brothers last season. Caputo says having the competitiveness of all three has helped push the entire team to new heights.
"They're pretty competitive with each other, but at the end of the day they always know they're brothers," Caputo said. "Their competitiveness with each other rubs off on the other players."
The brothers' natural chemistry on the court is hard to miss.
"We have good chemistry because we've been playing with each other for so long just in the driveway," Isaac said. "We all kind of know what the other person is going to do, so it comes very natural to play together."
Playing for Southern Virginia, an undergraduate liberal arts university with an LDS environment, has impacted their personal lives, as well.
Jonathan arrived at SVU in 2011 with his wife, Kim, who was not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After talking about it with her off and on, Jonathan wasn't sure if she would ever be interested in joining his faith.
But only two months after their move to Southern Virginia, Kim began to become more interested in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"When she told me she wanted to get baptized it was a total surprise to me, actually," Jonathan said. "She really liked the examples of the people around the school and she just felt like it was something she wanted to do. I told her she should start out reading the Book of Mormon, and so about a month later after taking the discussions I was able to baptize her."
Caputo not only plays the role of head coach for the Jacobson brothers, but is also the bishop to Jonathan and Kim in the Rockbridge Ward of the Buena Vista Virginia Stake.
"We had other players on the team who were married just like Jon," Caputo said. "Their wives would come to the game and talk to Kim. They were really helpful and friendly and she just had a good feeling I think."
In December 2011, Jonathan and Kim were sealed in the Washington D.C. Temple. They recently had their first child.
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