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'I smile every time I think about it': Gonzaga's Truong twins represent Vietnam at Southeast Asia games

Kayleigh and Kaylynne helped Vietnam to their highest placing ever in the 3-on-3 competition, winning a silver medal.

SPOKANE, Wash. — College basketball players around the region are returning back to campuses over the next few weeks from summer practices, but you’ll be hard pressed to find two players with a more unique story about what they did in their time away from school than Gonzaga’s Kaylynne and Kayleigh Truong.

"I smile every time I think about it just because of everything that did happen," recalled Kaylynne.

The Southeast Asia games, more commonly referred to as the SEA Games, are a competition that occurs every odd year with all 11 Southeast Asian countries participating. They were supposed to happen in November 2021, but due to a COVID outbreak in Vietnam, the games got pushed to this May. Due to the postponement, it opened the door for Gonzaga’s Truong twins to compete for Vietnam.

"I think this year for the SEA Games there was a lot of first times for Vietnam. First time beating a certain team, first time medaling. It was special because we were able to do it in Vietnam instead of another country that was hosting," said Kayleigh.

The Truong twins and their 3-on-3 team received a silver medal and did it all in front of joyous Vietnamese crowd in Hanoi.

"I did not expect that many fans to show up, but they showed up and showed out," said Kaylynne. 

"They sure did, they sure did," echoed Kayleigh.

For the twins, it was their first time donning the red and gold. 

Although they grew up in the states, both of their parents were raised in Vietnam.

"It just means a lot," said Kaylynne. "Just to try to play for my family and play for Vietnam and hopefully we made them proud. It’s always been a dream to play for Vietnam."

"It’s part of our identity," said Kayleigh. "It’s who we are and being able to represent that part of us just truly means a lot."

The Truongs say the games gave them a lot of confidence coming into their senior seasons at GU, but there was another lesson they took from the experience that was even bigger than that.

"It just reminded me to have fun with the game. College basketball, a lot of people do take it as business, but, at the end of the day, you’re going to have to remember just to have fun because that’s why we’re playing basketball," said Kaylynne.

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