The Speller twins spell out S-U-C-C-E-S-S


Justin Morris, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Justin Morris – Christopher (left) and Christian (right) pose for a picture in Rangeview’s halls. They are two of the three freshmen on Rangeview’s varsity basketball team this year. 

S-P-E-L-L-E-R. This is how you spell the names of the twin freshmen who make up the youngest group of players on Rangeview’s varsity basketball team: Christian and Christopher. One stands 6’2; the other is 6’3. One wears the number 30, the other, number 23. One has darker skin; the other is lighter. But while their looks are distinguishable on the court, according to their peers, their willingness to learn and work hard is equal.

Christian drives the lane for a layup in the same game. The Raiders lost a second round playoff matchup against Eaglecrest. (Justin Morris)

Their current coach, Shawn Palmer commented on the twins’ game saying: “I’ve known Christian and Christopher since they were little. They’re good workers, and it’s really up to them how great they become.”

The Spellers come from a family of athletes;  their dad is an assistant on Rangeview’s coaching staff, who played college basketball for Adams State and later earned a tryout with the Denver Nuggets, and their mother was a gymnast and cheerleader for Regis University.

Believe it or not, though, basketball was not always the twin’s first preference growing up. “[We were] trying to be race car drivers in kindergarten,” Christian said, explaining that basketball came at a later point in their childhood. “[We watched] Lebron, KD, Russell Westbrook growing up and took some parts of our game from them.”

Their success in the game, though, has been a family effort. The twins credit their dad, a pastor, with guiding them through much of their basketball journey. When asked about what he’s done for their basketball careers, both twins, without hesitation, responded, “a lot.” Expanding, Christopher says,  “He mentors us and guides us in the right direction.” Christian adds, “He teaches us how to get better mentally and physically.”

Christopher takes a free throw in a game against Dakota Ridge. The Raiders won the game 78-60. (Justin Morris)

The twins’ older sister, Tyler, an exemplary athlete in her own right, with volleyball offers from the likes of the University of Connecticut and Mississippi State, she helps the twins improve when she can. “I’m a good blocker, so they try to shoot around me,” she said.

Christian described them on the court together, saying, “we have good chemistry, and we both get buckets.” Christian has averaged six points per game over the course of the regular season, and nearly five rebounds, while Christopher has averaged just over a point a game, but makes up for it with defensive contributions, with nearly a steal a game.

The twins have a very high ceiling and will serve a pivotal role in the coming year according to Coach Palmer, but for now, the focus for both of them is: “win state.”