AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Right now the middle two brothers in a family of four siblings are playing on the same team for the first time and enjoying every minute. The duo hails from Thousand Oaks. Both went through Westlake High School, but Adam didn’t make the varsity team until his junior year, which was just after his sibling departed. Amir, the featured shooter in Redlands high-octane offense, averaged 18.8 points last year as a sophomore and has improved to 21.6 this season. He is also contributing 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Adam’s job is to get his brother and the other Bulldog marksmen quality shots. He has delivered to the tune of 5.2 asssists per game, second best in the conference, along with 7.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2 steals. Not only are the two on the same team, they play on the same shift in Smith’s revolving line offense with their platoon mates usually being sophomores Ryan Hall and David Thomas and freshman Ted Hull. “To be able to play together is a dream come true,” Amir said. “It’s something we always wanted to do but something we never thought could happen. We’re enjoying it as long as it lasts.” “He’s the better ball handler and passer,” Amir said, glancing in his brother’s direction. Both concede they have a younger sibling that might be better than either of them. Bulldogs coach Gary Smith can only hope he follows the two to the scenic campus in East San Bernardino County in a few years. REDLANDS – Ask Amir or Adam Mazarei who the better basketball player in the family is and both University of Redlands players hedge. They think for a few seconds, then come up with the diplomatic answer without even conferring. “He’s the better shooter,” Adam said, of his younger brother. The two had no reason to think they would ever achieve that goal. Amir, now 20, wasn’t recruited out of high school after missing six weeks of his senior season with a knee problem. He chose to go to Redlands because an associate of mother Linda boasted about how good the school’s accounting program was, and that was the area in which he planned to major. He didn’t plan on playing, even after he enrolled, but that all changed after talking to Smith and spending a few hours in the gym. Adam, now 23, attended Moorpark Junior College for two years but did not play because of a kidney problem that wasn’t immediately diagnosed. He started having some pain his senior year of high school but it wasn’t intense enough to prevent him from playing. It gradually got worse to where competing at the next level was not an option. He ended up having two surgeries, the first coming in the spring of 2003. A stent was inserted to help liquids pass through an obstruction. The surgery didn’t help much so another was performed at Cedars Sinai a few months later. The stent and the kidney were both removed. “I didn’t think I missed playing that much,” Adam said. “But I would go to all of his games. Then it made me miss it more.” It was only natural that Adam moved on to Redlands last year since his brother was already there. He will graduate this spring but is also benefiting from a program in which students can work on a teaching credential while getting their degree. His goal is to start an AAU basketball program in Thousand Oaks. “I hate to see kids developing bad habits and not paying attention to fundamentals,” he said. “I would like to see kids get better coaching at a younger age, and I want to help.” Smith admits both players have been a pleasant surprise. He knew Amir was a capable shooter but didn’t think he would put up such impressive numbers. Adam was a bigger question mark because of the health issue that kept him out of the game for almost three years. The school’s training staff monitored his condition and got proper documentation that cleared him to compete. Then it was a matter of getting back into playing shape. “You never really know how a kid is going to work out in the framework of this offense, but I would say he (Amir) has exceeded our expectations,” Smith said. “With Adam, it was more how fast he would progress given the time he was out. He has done a great job, too.” The players have been a nice addition to the program both on and off the court. “They’re pretty quiet, humble kids. They’re just a pleasure to be around,” Smith said. “Their good students and they’re unselfish players. I have to get on Adam to shoot more. Amir may be one of our key guys, but he never hesitates to pass up a shot if someone else has the hot hand.” Parents Linda and Mahdi are avid supporters of the basketball team, attending all games even if it means driving four or five hours one way. Sometimes it means having to choose because Matthew, 15, is now playing high school ball, following his brothers at Westlake. “We usually win out because there is two of us and one of him,” Amir said with a chuckle. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!