LAKEWOOD — The Emsbo twins — Camilla and Kira — are going their separate ways.
Lakewood High School’s 6-foot-4 identical twins made their separation official Wednesday morning during the start of early National Letter of Intent signing period. Both are headed to Ivy League schools. Kira having decided on Princeton University and Camilla signing with Yale University.
“I think it was important for me to separate from my sister,” Camilla said with a smile. “It will be a tough transition, but I think it’s really important for our growth.”
Camilla gave her verbal commitment to Yale in early October, a few months after Kira made her decision on Princeton. Both carry GPAs of 4.8 in Lakewood’s IB program.
While the twins have gone against each other in practice for years, they will get a chance to face each other for the first time and at least twice a year during their time at the Ivy League programs.
“It going to be the best and worst two days of our lives I think,” Camilla said of facing Kira on the basketball court. “Our parents are already freaking out about it. We play hard against each other in practice. It won’t be any different. There is a good possibility one or both of us foul out, but it will definitely be fun games for sure.”
Unfortunately, the next time both are on the basketball court will be in college. Kira discovered through a recent MRI on her knee that she has a torn ACL that she suffered this summer playing club basketball.
Kira has surgery scheduled to repair her torn ACL on Tuesday, Nov. 14. It will be a 6 to 9 month recovery, so she will be ready for the start of her freshman year at Princeton. Kira missed time her junior year during Lakewood’s first girls basketball state title appearance last season with an arm injury she suffered early in the season.
“I was kind of hoping this would be my year since I missed time last year and wasn’t that big of a presence on the floor,” Kira said. “But it gives me the opportunity to work on the leadership side of things and give support in other ways.”
Lakewood girls basketball coach Chris Poisson said the Tigers will make the most of the devastating injury as Lakewood attempts to make another long playoff run.
“Your heart breaks for her,” Poisson said of Lakewood’s ‘honorary assistant coach’. “She had a great summer. She was on a mission. I was pretty excited. We’ll put a positive light on it and be the best we can.”
Camilla, who averaged nearly 20 points per game and almost nine rebounds, will have to carry a heavy load again when the season begins in December for the Tigers.
“It’s brutal,” Camilla said of Kira’s torn ACL that will prevent her from playing. “She is one of the most positive and optimistic people I’ve ever met. She isn’t letting it get her down.”
Looking beyond high school, the Emsbo twins believe their selected university are a perfect fit.
“I was originally was going to wait longer then I did, but it got halfway through the summer and I wasn’t going to change my mind,” Kira said about verbally committing to Princeton in June. “This was what I want academically. I love the coaches. I love the school. It was the prefect place for me.”
Camilla is just as excited about heading to Yale.
“Obviously, academics are a huge priority for me,” Camilla said. “I think the Ivy League is where you get that perfect balance of academics and athletics.”
It’s the first time Poisson has had a player, let alone two players, sign with Division I programs.
“My Dad (Joe Poisson, a longtime girls basketball coach at Arvada High School) always talked about that,” said Poisson about how his late father never coached a future DI player. “I got two and from the same family. Are you kidding? I’ve been lucky and blessed. You don’t take it for granted because it doesn’t come around very often.”
List of Jeffco-area signers
Columbine High School
Kerstin Layman, volleyball, Colorado Mesa University
Maeve Hungerford, women’s lacrosse, Colorado Mesa University
Melaine Lopez, softball, Trinidad State Jr. College
Nick Darrow, men’s lacrosse, Mercer University
Brock Harmon, men’s lacrosse, Colorado Mesa University
Gavin Beilman, men’s lacrosse, Westminster College
Robert Miner, men’s lacrosse, Belmont Abbey College
Gabe Mein, men’s lacrosse, University of Utah
Maddie Samuelson, women’s soccer, Hastings College
Conifer High School
Madeleine Foster, track/cross country, Western State
Nick Williams, men’s lacrosse, Hofstra
Kyle Butler, men’s lacrosse, Adams State
Cole Hollander, men’s lacrosse, Rhodes
Isabel Arnold, soccer, LeTourneau
D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School
Peyton Wright, volleyball, University of Northwestern-St. Paul
Kendra Cerrone, volleyball, West Texas A&M
Abbey Selin, women’s swimming, University of Wyoming
Angi Reed, women's basketball, Oregon Tech
Evergreen High School
Lauryn Jeans, women’s soccer, Claremont McKenna College
Tomah Whitney, cross country, Western State
Jack Patterson, baseball, Washburn University
Ben Muscatello, baseball, William Jewell College
Lauren Vilims, women’s swimming, University of Northern Iowa
Golden High School
Abby Garnett, women’s basketball, University of Ohio
Adam Thistlewood, men’s basketball, Drake University
Liam Johnson, men’s soccer, University of Denver
Megan Feiner, softball, Fort Hays State
Marrissa Malmgren, women’s lacrosse, Upper Iowa
Brennan Grass, men’s lacrosse, Adams State
Brad Banks, baseball, Kansas Wesleyan
Quinn Cusack, women’s soccer, Culver-Stockton
Green Mountain High School
Brook Thompson, women’s lacrosse, Westminster College
Emily Sammon, volleyball, Bethel University
JD Wadleigh II, baseball, South Mountain Community College
Jefferson High School
Marissa Gallegos, women’s wrestling, Grays Harbor College
Lakewood High School
Jack Castiglia, men’s golf, University of Northern Colorado
Gabe Dinette, wrestling, Stanford University
Ileana Dinette, diving, University of Denver
Camilla Emsbo, women’s basketball, Yale University
Kira Emsbo, women’s basketball, Princeton University
Avery Hughes, volleyball, University of Ottawa
Hayden Still, wrestling, Oregon State University
Audrey Woodhouse, women’s lacrosse, Colorado Mesa University
Ralston Valley High School
Anna Austin, swimming, University of Idaho
Haley Bass, softball, Dodge City Community College
Gianna Browdy, softball, Dodge City Community College
Delaynie Byrne, women’s basketball, University of Minnesota
Samuel Cowling, swimming, Southwestern Oregon CC
Isabelle Davenport, swimming, University of South Dakota
Ashley Drye, volleyball, Colorado Christian University
Giselle Eiche, volleyball, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Ian Klava, baseball, Puget Sound University
Luke Leisenring, baseball, Arizona State University
Mikeila Ruotsala, soccer, Oregon Tech
Samantha Van Sickle, women’s basketball, Colorado School of Mines
Jordan Winchester, lacrosse, Regis University
Mackenzie Winchester, lacrosse, Regis University
Elizabeth Wompey, swimming, Youngstown State University
Standley Lake High School
Garrett Martin, baseball, McLennan Community College
Elliot McNeave, baseball, Western Nebraska Community College