In 2012, Khaléann and Audrey Ann Caron-Goudreau lined up for a one-on-one drill at a Team Canada practice. The battle was rough from the beginning, but ended when Audrey hit the floor holding her neck.
“I punched her in the throat, and she couldn’t breathe,” Khaléann said. “She was on the ground, like dying. I didn’t do it on purpose.”
The competitive play would have seemed like just another day at practice, except Khaléann and Audrey Ann were not only fraternal twin sisters, but also best friends.
Since they started playing basketball at 10 years old, the one-on-one drill was one of the few instances in which the sisters faced each other.
By the time they reached their sophomore year of high school, Khaléann and Audrey’s parents decided to make a move for the girls’ basketball careers. Their mom, Myrianne Caron, was a bit more reluctant to make the move from Quebec to Florida. But their dad, Daniel Goudreau, said he doesn’t have any regrets about enrolling the girls at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
“I knew that they’d be best suited over there,” Daniel said. “It paid off very, very well.”
During their time at IMG — which Audrey Ann describes as the best years of her career — the girls made enough of an impression to earn scholarships to Vanderbilt.
But after two seasons there, the girls said it was time for a change.
Their next school came down to a decision between Kansas State and Texas. Kansas State had two scholarship offers. Texas only had one. But Texas had something Khaléann felt the Wildcats couldn’t offer.
“My goal is to win a national championship,” Khaléann said. “I know with this team, what we can accomplish. It’s not even a dream. I know we can get there.”
Once the sisters agreed on Texas, they still had to choose which one would get the scholarship. Khaléann had only played in two games her last season at Vanderbilt, so the family was hoping she’d be granted immediate eligibility and be able to play the 2015–16 season.
In the meantime, Audrey Ann played for Gulf Coast State College in Florida, where she was named Co-MVP of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I National Championship.
Audrey Ann noted the odd nature of her journey. According to her, going from a Division I school to a junior college back to a Division I was untraditional, but certainly worth it.
“I don’t regret it at all,” Audrey Ann said. “It was such a great experience, and I got a lot of confidence because of the shooting coach I had over there.”
After a year apart — the longest the pair has ever been separated — their dad now looks forward to the girls reuniting on the court.
“For me, it is a dream come true,” Daniel said. “I always dreamt of playing for Texas when I was a younger age. But I never got the chance or had the talent they have.”
Like their father, the girls are excited to be teammates again. But more importantly, they are happy to be together again. After a 13-hour drive from Florida to Austin on Tuesday, the twins are finally reunited.
“It was so good to see her this morning,” Audrey Ann said. “I felt complete again. Like I have my best friend back.”