Best friends on opposite sides

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The third grader heard all about him, this kind of short, kind of overweight, kind of insanely talented fourth grader his father wouldn't shut up about. The father, also his youth basketball coach, also hinted the fourth grader kind of wanted to join the team.

When that fourth grader, Jared Sullinger, showed up to a local basketball tournament at "The Hoop" in Columbus, Ohio, no one involved could have predicted what the next decade-plus would bring. Not Sullinger. Not the coach of that Team Reebok squad, Benji Burke.

And not his third-grade son, Trey Burke.

What transpired was a friendship that melded the Sullinger and Burke families together forever. Benji coached them both on Team Reebok. Jared's father, Satch Sullinger, coached the pair at Northland High School in Columbus.

Until last month, the two had never faced each other in a basketball game that counted. Now, they'll play against each other for the second time in their lives Saturday when No. 6 Ohio State faces No. 19 Michigan.

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