1. WILKES-BARRE (PA.)
2. ROWAN (N.J.)
3. ILLINOIS WESLEYAN
4. TRINITY (CONN.)
6. NEW JERSEY TECH
7. WASHINGTON U
8. NEBRASKA WESLEYAN
10. HOPE (MICH.)
If you're not a fan of home videos, the Folkl home in St. Louis is a good place to avoid. For the better part of 15 years, Tom Folkl, an engineer at McDonnell Douglas and a guy who doesn't mind looking at the sports world through the eyepiece of a video camera, has been lugging his bulky Panasonic to dingy gymnasiums, recording the athletic exploits of his children, Kevin and Kevin's younger sister, Kristin. The fruits of his labor spill from every nook and cranny of the three-bedroom house. "I was embarrassed having my dad around with that camera in junior high," says Kevin, "but now I'm glad he did it." Call the 500 or so tapes Folkl-lore.
The best way to watch the Folkl kids, however, is live. As a freshman two-sport starter at Stanford last year, Kristin, 6'2", helped lead the Cardinal women's volleyball team to the NCAA title and the women's basketball team to the Final Four, where it lost in the semifinals 87-60 to eventual champion Connecticut.
With much less fanfare, Kevin, a 6'8" center, has been making a name for himself at Washington University in St. Louis. Last season he was named the University Athletic Association's Player of the Year after averaging 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He also led the Bears into the Division III tournament, where they lost in the second round to Illinois Wesleyan 90-65. Now, as Folkl enters his senior season, he's a serious Division III player-of-the-year candidate on a team with championship potential.
That still is not enough to make Kevin, 22, the athletic Folkl-point of the family, but he doesn't seem to care. He frequently jokes—or maybe it's not a joke—that he will put his finance degree to work one day by managing the earnings of his better-known sister. And when Kristin, 19, couldn't attend a charity dinner in St. Louis last winter because she was in Oregon playing a basketball game, Kevin delivered a colorful speech in her stead. "I get a lot of perks like that," he says.
Kevin delivers messages on the court too. "I've never seen anyone at this level do what he does," says Washington coach Mark Edwards. "Kevin finally is realizing just how good he is." And how good is he? Good enough that he shot 63% from the floor and blocked a league-leading 49 shots last season as the Bears went 23-4. Good enough that in his sophomore season he got the ball at the top of the key on a fast break, dribbled once and delivered a ferocious one-handed jam that left Missouri-Kansas guard and eventual Dallas Maverick first-round pick Tony Dumas shaking his head in wonder.
Kevin's just not good enough to dominate his sister in the games of H-O-R-S-E and Around the World. "I can shoot better than she does from under the basket," says Kevin, "but she'll kill me from outside." And small wonder, considering that Kristin shot 59% from the floor and 50% from three-point range last season. And Kevin knows that it is his destiny to get second billing in the family. Kristin's teams at St. Joseph's Academy in St. Louis won four state high school championships in both volleyball and basketball, so her newspaper clippings and trophies easily outnumber his. Also, while Stanford will again be among the nation's top women's teams, even though Kristin is likely to leave in January to join the U.S. national volleyball team, the exploits of the Washington basketball program won't exactly be an ESPN highlight staple this season.
But down the road, when Tom and Marilyn Folkl are in the retirement home asking people to, as Marilyn is fond of saying, "come on in and watch some movies," the Kevin Folkl videotape labeled 1995-96 seems destined to be a pretty good show.