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Diaz Twins Q&A

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

6’10” and 6’9” forwards and identical twins Guillermo and Jorge Diaz Graham have only been in the United States for a few months, but have already made their mark at the renowned IMG Academy (FL). Hailing from the Canary Islands in Spain, the twins got their start playing for local clubs before they moved their way up the ranks within the Spanish basketball leagues. After a global pandemic threw a wrench in their recruitment plans, the twins opted to come to the states regardless to focus on basketball and academic opportunities. Aside from positional size and fluid athleticism, Guillermo and Jorge bring versatility, shooting, passing, creating, and a mature feel for the game to any team and both are eager to show colleges they’re worthy of attention.

As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, the Diaz Graham twins discussed their unique basketball journey, off-court interests, adjusting to the states, and much more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospects Guillermo and Jorge Diaz Graham, from the Canary Islands, Spain:

Pro Insight: Can you talk a bit about your background?

Guillermo Diaz: So we’re from the Canary Islands, Spain. It’s like some islands off of Africa. Not many people know much about it. We’re twins and we’ve been playing basketball since we were five years old and we’ve been playing together this whole time. We also played soccer when we were young — we used to play a lot of sports and we grew to like a lot of sports.

PI: How did you guys get your start in basketball?

Jorge Diaz: It’s hard to explain, but the doctors told our parents that we were going to be very tall. Like two meters. So my dad wanted us to play basketball. So we started at five years old in a little club called Santo Domingo. Then when we were 17 we moved to another club, the Canarias. My father knew that we were going to be tall so he wanted us to play basketball.

PI: Did your parents or other family members also play basketball?

GD: No. Our dad used to play basketball, but not like for real. Just for like playing with your kid. We don’t have many other athletes in the family, we’re the only ones to be playing at this level and it’s a lot of pride for us.

JD: We don’t have any other siblings.

GD: Yeah, it’s just us two.

PI: Where do you get your height from?

GD: We don’t really know. Our father is tall, but he’s not that tall.

JD: I have to say, our grandparents are very tall.

GD: But not like us, I’m 6’10” and he’s 6’8”.

JD: 6’9”.

GD: 6’8”. [JD whispers 6’9”] And we are like the tallest ones in our family ever.

PI: Would you say soccer was your first love or has basketball always been your top sport?

JD: When he [Guillermo] was a kid he wanted to play soccer not basketball. I always loved basketball more that soccer and when we grew up he realized that he couldn’t play soccer [Guillermo laughs] so we have to play basketball.

GD: Also we played soccer because of the school, because we played with our school mates. It was nothing serious.

PI: Describe one another’s game.

JD: I think he’s very tall, but also very skilled. Like he can shoot no problem. He’s like Nikola Jokic, he’s a good playmaker and can pass the ball very good. For being that tall he’s so nice and so skilled.

GD: I think our game is very similar, but he likes to play more of the forward position because he can move faster. He has good footwork, good ball handling, good shooter, and good playmaking.

PI: How would you describe your on-court chemistry?

JD: Yeah, we have been playing so much so sometimes we just need to look at each other's eyes to know what to do. Our play is like when he’s in the post I pass him the ball and just cut to the rim and he gets me. It’s always a free basket. We’ve been doing that so long it’s just like a habit.

PI: Where do you feel like you can both improve the most?

GD: These past weeks I’m just focusing on my finishing touch at the rim and also our athleticism, like our strength. We’re lifting and that type of stuff. So I would say my finishing touch at the rim and improving my shooting consistency. Here at IMG we have amazing facilities so I can go at night to an open gym and put like 500 shots up with the machine. So that’s something that I didn’t have back in Spain. So I think I’m getting better just shooting and shooting.

JD: I would say of course my body, we’re trying to gain some pounds, but also keep our athleticism. With basketball I would say, I make a lot of turnovers, so trying to read the game better. Sometimes just chill and learn to read the game.

PI: What would you say is an underrated aspect of your games?

GD: I think he can play a lot like taking and ball-handling screens. He can play well. He can stop and shoot, make a good pass, go hard to the rim. I think he could be a problem with this, but he’s not used to doing it, he could do it.

JD: I’ll say when he has the ball in his hands good things happen. He has very good vision for players cutting or finding open teammates. So he’s like a forward, but he could play as a guard. When he has the ball in his hands he’s so good. Like the team is better when he has the ball in his hands.

PI: Describe your time playing with the Spanish National Team — what has that experience been like?

JD: I played a little bit with them in training camp, but never played an official game.

GD: The experience is amazing. Going to the national team with kids from all of Spain and having a good team. I think we did so well because we were a very good team, not only on the court, but also off the court. I think that the best thing I can get from that experience is the people that I met there and the relationships I got from that tournament. Also, playing with the national team gets you a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of people watching, so it’s a great opportunity.

PI: What’s the story behind joining IMG? What led to that decision?

JD: Like our first idea was going to college. We should be in college this year, but because of COVID recruiting from Europe and international players was hard. So we don’t have “good offers” I’d say. We had some friends that helped us with all of this stuff and they told us about prep schools so we started looking up prep schools. I remember one day they contacted me, Jim Carr at IMG, so we talked with Coach Carr and he gave us scholarships. It was random, we were first going to college, then prep schools and suddenly like one month before going IMG appeared.

GD: Why we are here is having the opportunity to study and play basketball at the same time. Back in Europe it’s so hard to play at a good level and keep up your studies. Here in USA the NCAA is amazing, there’s really good competition and they take care of not just the athletic part, but the student part. That’s why we’re here.

PI: What are each of your interests academically?

GD: I want to get a degree in something related to technology. I like technology. I’m good at mathematics, physics, and science. So something related to technology.

JD: I like more computers and programming. Something in that.

PI: Does IMG have some of those programs?

GD: Yeah, right now we’re taking a robotics class as well as 3D design and in Spain we don’t have that. Like here we’re just making robots and it’s something amazing.

JD: We have a lot of resources, so it’s great.

PI: How long have you guys been over here in the states?

JD: We came September 5th, 2021, so like 2 months.

PI: What has the adjustment been like?

GD: We’ve been so lucky, our teammates give us a lot of support and help us a lot getting in with people. I think we are doing pretty good. We’ve made a lot of friends, we’re playing good in the basketball system, so I think we’re doing pretty good.