Trio of sisters, family ties empowering South Titans to success
It's a family affair for the Wichita South girls basketball team.
"I really enjoy playing with everybody on our team. I love everybody like they're all like my sisters to be honest," Wichita South sophomore shooting guard Mahogany Butler said.
Except six of those sisters are actually sisters. Three sets of siblings share the court together: Zion and Mahogany Butler, Ramya and A'nya Kennedy, and Mariah and Alexsis Barkus.
"We all have like a lot in common," Wichita South senior point guard Zion Butler said. "So we know how to relate to each other and stuff and how we all act. We know how to deal with each other very well."
Mahogany Butler said, "I looked up to her a lot. Even though we started at the same time and like we kind of like know the same things. She's like my role model basically."
In fact, it's a team full of role models.
"They all work together. If you see us and you watch us play, we're an unselfish team and that comes from just the leadership," Wichita State head coach Thsombe Phillips said. "I can't do what I do without the leadership and the help of the girls so that empowers the other girls to basically fall in line and if you want to be a part of this team, we got to act like a family."
With an 8-2 record so far, all the sisters empower the Titans toward success.
"We've been playing with each other forever so it's really nothing new. We just continue to build chemistry with each other and keep our relationship going so I like it," Zion Butler said.
"We're all like super close and like even people that aren't sisters like don't have a sister on the team, we're all just a team together," Mahogany Butler said.
The Butlers' relationship has always caught the eye of Phillips.
"(Zion) was my first player when I got here and I was lucky to be able to have her," Phillips said. "Her sister came a year after and with them both together it's like a two-headed monster. I consider them my family and they really allow the other girls to act like family."
The Titans will always share their family bonds, this season and beyond.
"Ultimately, we want to be able to make it to state. I would love to say that I took you to know, three sets of sisters to state, you know what I mean? And for them to experience that, you know, and we still have another year. So that's the ultimate goal at the end of the day."
Wichita South gears up for a mid-season tournament tipping off on Thursday. The Titans face Shawnee Heights at 5:30 p.m. in Topeka.