Griffs' Livingston Brothers are Formidable

Double Teaming for the Title
Posted on 03/21/2019
Image of Buchtel's Livingston Twins(Michael Beaven Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

Buchtel freshman Chris Livingston held multiple college scholarship offers before his first high school basketball game.

National website and recruiting analysts tabbed Livingston as one of the top freshmen in the United States, and all the 6-foot-6, 185-pound guard wanted to do was focus on his progression as a player at Buchtel.

That progression has helped Buchtel reach the state tournament.

“This has been a great last month,” Livingston said. “We started off the tournament strong, and we have kept that going. We had some tough games, but we finished them out and now we are going to the state tournament. We are trying to focus on the next game.”

The next game pits Buchtel (20-7) against Trotwood-Madison (26-2) at 8 p.m. Thursday in a Division II state semifinal at the Schottenstein Center’s Value City Arena.

Buchtel earned its spot at Ohio State University with tournament wins over Marlington, East, Tallmadge, Poland Seminary and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph. The Griffins topped East and Ellet three times en route to the City Series title and also ended the regular season with a win at Archbishop Hoban.

Recent Akron Public Schools high schools to make it to Columbus in boys basketball include Buchtel in 1997 and Firestone in 1992. Buchtel is trying to join West (1932), North (1935 and 1939), Ellet (1944) and Central-Hower (1980 and 1986) as APS schools with a state title.

“We are happy with this run, but to be honest I don’t think we will really realize what we are bringing to the city until it is all done,” Livingston said.

Twin brother Cordell added: “This is great for APS.”

Chris Livingston has scholarship offers from Florida, Ohio State, Akron and the University of Alabama Birmingham. More will likely be on the way for the guard who averages about 25 points per game.

“Chris went from obviously being highly regarded, not only throughout the state but in the country, and being a player who was probably criticized a little bit for choosing to stay in his home district here at Buchtel,” said Griffins coach Matt Futch, a 2002 Buchtel graduate. “Then he was criticized, ‘Oh, he can only play in the full court,’ and now he has developed his game and he can do a lot of things in the half court. He can play the point and he can get down in the post.

“It has been fun to see that kind of growth, and then with his brother, Cordell, people say, ‘Oh, he is only playing because of his brother.’ But the kid has some skill, he has a work ethic and he has found himself getting valuable minutes on the varsity level.”

The Livingston twins live with their mother, Julia Livingston, a Buchtel graduate, and regularly receive advice from their grandfather, Joe Livingston, an Akron South graduate.

“We have been saying since the summer that we are going to state, [and] it is just wild that it is actually happening now,” said Cordell Livingston, a 6-foot, 165-pound guard.

The Livingston twins were born on Oct. 15, 2003, in Akron. Both teenagers, who live in the Buchtel district, take honors algebra, honors English, honors world history, honors physical science, Chinese and other engineering courses at STEM High School.

“Both of them have over a 3.0 GPA,” Futch said. “Those guys are impressive in regards to the amount of work that they are doing in the classroom.”

The brothers started playing competitive basketball at the age of 5. They attended Schumacher in kindergarten and Emmanuel Christian Academy in Akron for grades 1-8.

Buchtel senior Jonathan King said it has been fun watching the Livingston twins grow.

“They work in the gym a lot,” King said. “They get a lot of shots up in practice, so I have seen their games grow and watched them mature. They are taking smart shots and are more focused.”

King said the twins are “energetic, fun, like to play around, laugh and talk.”

“Cordell is not shy, and he is very confident,” Futch said. ”... Chris is more of an introvert, but once he gets comfortable around his environment, he can get out of his shell a little bit. He has a very infectious personality. Both of these guys do. They have an infectious aura about them that can provide leadership within the team.”

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