Sports, Sorority and Sisterhood

For most new students, going to college means leaving your family. This, however, is not the case for Linfield freshman Jessica Thoens and junior Nichole Thoens, two sisters from Oregon City.

Nichole Thoens transferred from Western Oregon University and is starting at Linfield as a junior. It is not often that siblings choose the same college or university.

“Jessica was talking to Coach Haskins and went on a tour and fell in love with the school. She then called me and said that I needed to come for a visit,” Nichole Thoens said.

“So, I came. I don’t know what it was about Linfield, but I just fell in love. It was just obvious that I wanted to be here,” Nichole Thoens said. “All the people here are so nice. People here are always friendly and ready to talk, and they always hold the door.”

The Thoens started playing basketball in elementary school. They are both interested in studying business and  play on the varsity basketball team. Jessica Thoens’ position is point guard and Nichole Thoens’ is shooting guard.

“The idea of playing together was brought onto the table and that solidified my choice to go to Linfield,” Nichole Thoens said. “We are not very competitive. It works because she feeds me the ball.”

Growing up, the sisters never had the opportunity to play on the same team.

“We are only three years apart, but now that Nichole transferred, we are only two years apart because of eligibility. We are going to have two years of playing together,” Jessica Thoens said.

“We aren’t super competitive with each other because we play different positions. So, we never really have to guard each other. Even if we’re on different teams for practice, we still give each other high fives and encouragement,” Nichole Thoens said. “We have a kind of sister telepathy. We have practiced together but never wore the same uniforms. We are both really excited for this opportunity.”

The sisters aren’t the only ones glad for this opportunity. It’s a fortunate situation for their family, too.

“Our parents are really happy that we will be playing for the same team. They don’t have to worry about whose game they are going to go to,” Jessica Thoens said.

Not only do the Thoens have the chance to play on the same team, they were also both recruited for the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.

“I talked with a bunch of girls that are in sororities here already and gained their perspective about their personal experiences. I was also looking for a way to get more involved on campus, as well as a way to meet more people. Joining a sorority seemed like an amazing opportunity to do both,” Jessica Thoens said.

On bid day, girls are given the opportunity to bond with their sorority sisters and a chance to get to know people and celebrate. However, for the Thoens, it was merely restating the fact that they are sisters.

In most schools, for two sisters of different ages, the ability to not only play on the same sports team but also be involved in the same sorority is near impossible.

“In bigger schools, we as sisters would never have the opportunity to both be involved in Greek Life, let alone play basketball,” Jessica Thoens said.

Sisterhood is an immeasurable relationship. Luckily for two new Linfield sisters, college will be a time for them to grow together as students, teammates and sorority sisters.

Madeline Bergman/staff writer

Madeline Bergman can be reached at

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