PALM SPRINGS, CA — Palm Springs Power teammates Todd Dunham and Chesny Young have more in common with each other than just playing for the same team this summer.
Dunham, who is from Inverness, Ill. and attends Oakland University in Michigan, and Young, who is from Atlanta and plays at Mercer University, date women from the same family.
Alissa Valentine, who has dated Dunham for a year and seven months, and Kelly Moran, who has been with Young for two years, are cousins.
The irregular circumstance has led to a family reunion of sorts in Palm Springs this summer, as both girls and members of their family have made trips to the desert to see the team play.
Both of the girls’ mothers were shocked when they discovered the odd coincidence last October.
Moran, who attends Auburn University, was in the library studying for a midterm when she got the call from her mother.
“My mom and Alissa’s mom are sisters and they are extremely close,” Moran said. “They talk all the time so it was just a casual conversation. Alissa’s mom brought up how Todd was playing in California this summer and my mom was like ‘No way! Chesny is too!’”
Moran and Young met in high school, and have continued their relationship despite attending different colleges. Both have recently finished their freshman year.
Young said he had no idea of the coincidence until later in the school year.
“We didn’t figure it out,” Young said. “It was definitely the girls.”
Dunham, who decided to play in Palm Springs to spend more time with an uncle who lives in the area, said he and Young didn’t talk until they got here, but now they have become good friends.
In fact, the four have been spending time together on the players’ off days.
“We’ve definitely been cliché tourists,” Moran said. “When they had an off day the four of us went to Laguna and spent the whole day on the beach. We went to a really cool bistro that was right on the water and got to watch the sun set on a little patio, it was incredible.”
It is the first time for each of the girls in California and each has enjoyed their experience.
“I really like it here,” Moran said. “It’s a fantastic atmosphere at the games, and they do a great job getting the crowd involved. It feels like a small-town atmosphere because everyone has heard of the Palm Springs Power. I think it’s really neat to see how much the town supports the team.”