The three O'Connell brothers' love for basketball began in Georgia.
"We grew up in the driveway playing each other, like constantly fighting," admitted Alex, "each one wants to be the other."
"A lot crying, a lot of running into mom and dad and 'he beat me, he beat me," said older brother Shawn. “I think ever since we were younger we were able to push each other in the game of basketball."
Shawn O'Connell committed and played at Georgia Southern. When it came time for middle brother and now Duke sophomore Alex to pick a school, he didn't look far for advice.
"His recruiting it helped me just to upgrade my recruiting, just to make sure I saw all the schools and get a feel for what they were offering, so he sort of led the way just knowing what questions to ask."
When Alex came to Durham, he wouldn't be separated from his brothers for long. That's because their dad, former duke player David, recently moved up to Raleigh with youngest brother Brady. Brady attends Tavenscroft high school in Raleigh. And when Shawn started looking for a school to play at for a graduate year, well... Two hours down the road, UNC-Wilmington seemed the perfect fit.
"That kind of just worked out perfectly for us as a family, all three of us kind of getting to play in North Carolina close to each other."
"It makes it a lot easier for us to catch each other's games or our parents to go to games and still see the rest of the family," Alex said. "We're the closest of brothers when we were back home, so we don't want that to change at all."
While their roots may tie them to Georgia, North Carolina is now where the O'Connell heart is.