December 16, 1996Contact: Joe Dionisio
"Triple Double:" 3 Sets of Identical Twins for Southampton Athletics
Fax: (516) 283-4081
Why is "double vision" spreading at this College?
It's because Rita and Evelyna Breivaite of Panavezys, Lithuania, freshmen on the women's basketball team, have become the third set of identical twins who play intercollegiate sports for Southampton Graduate Campus of Long Island University.
The Breivaites join Nick and Paul Warywoda of the men's basketball team, and Bill and Mike Snak of the men's lacrosse team as identical twins participating in athletic programs at the College. This "Triple Double" has created some confusion at the Southampton Gym.
"It's hard enough to tell the twins apart when they are playing a sport and have a number on their back," said Mary Topping, Athletic Director. "But when they are in street clothes it's nearly impossible."
This week, Rita Breivaite earned her second consecutive honor as NYCAC Rookie of the Week. The center averaged 13.5 points (fourth-best in conference) and 5.5 rebounds. No Lady Colonials player had ever earned rookie honors twice in one season, no less consecutively.
The Breivaites, who at age 15 led Lithuania to a national junior basketball championship, have athletic aspirations beyond the Lady Colonials. "It's our dream to represent Lithuania in the Olympics," said Evelyna, who, like her sister, speaks fluent English. The 6-foot-2 sisters are the tallest on their team, but still three inches shorter than their counterpart twins on the men's squad.
Nick and Paul Warywoda, 6-foot-5 seniors from Rosedale, N.Y., played two seasons of volleyball before joining the Runnin' Colonials. Grandchildren of Ukrainian immigrants, the Business majors are not easily distinguished. Paul's hair breaks left, Nick's to the right. Their uniform numbers, 42 and 24, are similar. One secret to differentiating them is to memorize their wardrobes, since the colors of their clothes are varied to make laundry duties sane.
"I'm glad we are finishing our college careers together," said Paul, whose coach is former NBA star Sidney Green. "With all the potential on our team, Nick and I have the chance to go out on a high note." The twins hope to someday open an athletic apparel company in their hometown. Its name? "Double Vision."
Billy and Mike Snak of Smithtown, who begin practice next month for the men's lacrosse opener in March, are 5-foot-8 senior transfers from Suffolk Community College.
Billy Snak, who plays defensive midfield, has traveled the country as a nationally ranked second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
"In high school I was ranked second in the country," said Billy, whose sister, Erica, 19, also is a black belt. The Management Information Systems major, who won the silver medal at the 1995 New York State Tae Kwon Do Tournament, qualified for nationals in 1995.
Mike Snak, a midfield/attackman majoring in History, has appeared with Billy on The Richard Bey Show, and in television commercials for Lemon Tree hair salons. Like his twin brother, he is a lacrosse fanatic, a second-degree black belt, and a volunteer Tae Kwon Do instructor at Suffolk County's Police Athletic League in Brentwood.
Southampton Graduate Campus lacrosse coach Ralph Pepe, who was their high school coach at Smithtown West, has known the twins since eighth grade. "Neither of them has a concept of the word fear," said Pepe. "If you went to war, these are the individuals you'd want with you. They are truly great guys and come from a super family."
The three sets of twins are available to the media. To arrange for interviews or photographs, call the Public Relations Office at (516) 287-8360.