Maddie and Allie Burke are fraternal twins. They live together and eat together in the mornings before school. But once breakfast is over, they go their separate ways.

Maddie is a star basketball player in her junior year at Central Bucks West. Allie, also a junior, is a star volleyball player at Central Bucks South.

“I get that a lot,” Allie said. “ ‘Why doesn’t Maddie go [to Central Bucks South]?’ Maddie has been playing travel [basketball] since the fourth grade, and all of her friends go to West. She had the choice because our parents live in different houses. I don’t see the point in moving. I have friends here.”

The twins' father, Chris Burke, graduated from Bonner-Prendergast in 1981 and played professional basketball overseas. He lives in the southern part of Doylestown, while his ex-wife, Carolyn, the girls’ mother, lives in the western part of Doylestown. Maddie and Allie have the option to go to either Central Bucks West or South because of the family’s custody arrangement. They chose to live together but attend different schools.

So far, Maddie Burke has more than 30 Division I basketball scholarship offers to schools all over the country. Stanford, Maryland, Penn State, Florida, and Villanova are a few of the schools that are high on her list. A 6-foot guard, she made it to the final cuts for the 2017 USA Basketball women’s under-16 national team and was invited back to try out for the 2018 USA women’s under-17 World Cup team.

The 17-year-old averaged 14.7 points per game for the Bucks as a sophomore last season and was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers' all-state second-team and the All-Suburban One Conference first team.

The volleyball recruiting process is different than basketball. But Chris Burke said he has been told that Allie is a Division I prospect. At 6-2, she was named to the 2018 All-Suburban One Conference first team and was the offensive MVP for the Titans during the fall season. It was only her third year playing volleyball.

The only time the sisters went to school together was in preschool and elementary school. But even then, they were used to being apart.

“We were never allowed to be in the same class because we were twins, and our teachers were scared that we would always be together and not branch out and make new friends,” Maddie said.

Though Allie’s main sport is volleyball, she also plays basketball, and the sisters played against each other while in middle school. They did not play against each other last season but expect to this season.

Such a unique living arrangement could lead to a competitive household, but the twins don’t see it that way.

“We’re both very different,” Maddie said. “I’m very into my basketball and school, and she’s very into school and volleyball. So we both have our different interests, and we’re both very different personality-wise.”

Maddie Burke (left) defends against Souderton's Kate Connolly last season.
STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Maddie Burke (left) defends against Souderton's Kate Connolly last season.

When Allie’s Central Bucks South basketball team played in the PIAA Class 6A state title game last season, Maddie was in the stands to support her sister.

When Allie’s Central Bucks South volleyball team played Central Bucks West, Maddie was clear about her allegiance.

“I cheered for my sister,” she said emphatically.

Allie has risen quickly in the volleyball ranks after only three years. She got into the sport after her neighbor persuaded her to go to a volleyball camp the summer before Allie’s freshman year of high school. It has gotten more serious for Allie as she plays for the East Coast Power club team out of King of Prussia and has aspirations to play Division I in college.

Maddie Burke (left) sits on the couch with her twin sister, Allie at their dad's house in Doylestown.
Maddie Burke (left) sits on the couch with her twin sister, Allie at their dad's house in Doylestown.

“We’ve always been really supportive of each other,” Allie said. “I’ve always been there for her. She’s always urged me to play volleyball and try to do my best and do it at a high level because she knows how great it is. She’s been there for basketball. She wants me to be the best I can be, and I want her to be the best she can be. We just make it work.”