The best NCAA sibling stories and moments of 2017-18
Sometimes, a love of sports runs in the family. For some college athletes, a little sibling rivalry can go along way in bringing out the best in each other (see: Reggie and Cheryl Miller). For others, playing together as teammates allows for great impacts to be made for the program (see: Caleb and Cody Martin).
For National Sibling Day, we gathered some of the best sibling stories and moments from 2017-18 that will hopefully, make you want to call up your own brother or sister for a friendly (or not) game of 1-on-1.
Minnesota Duluth overcame an uneven season to beat Notre Dame and claim the program's second national title. Two of the catalysts in the turnaround were sophomore Joey and freshman Mikey Anderson, who's sibling rivalry really began with an intense scuffle at their sister Sami's high school graduation party in 2014. Since then, the duo have channeled their competitive nature to physical play on the ice. The Andersons might not appreciate Joey and Mikey's aggressiveness at family functions, but the Bulldogs's championship squad certainly values it.
Louisville junior Asia Durr had a huge season, leading the Cardinals to their first Final Four appearance since 2013. With her throughout this season and the last two was her brother, T.J., just 14 months younger than Asia. In high school, the Durr family was hit with a blow, finding out that T.J. had developed a brain tumor. Luckily, a biopsy showed it to be noncancerous and surgery on it was successful. Years later, T.J. decided that he'd attend whichever school Asia decided to go to. True to his word, T.J. enrolled at Louisville in 2016 and became the women's basketball team manager, making the pair more inseperable than ever.
Bobby Hurley's Arizona State may not have made it far in the 2018 NCAA tournament, but his brother Dan, former head coach of the Rhode Island Rams who sent Trae Young's Oklahoma team home in the first round, was emotional in learning that his older brother would be joining him in the tournament. The younger Hurley's team would go on to lose to Duke but certainly made a statement with their play against Oklahoma.
Brothers Jordan and Markus Howard were two of the most prolific scorers this season. Meet their parents.
Central Arkansas senior Jordan Howard and his brother, Marquette sophomore Markus grabbed the attention of the nation with their scoring abilities this season. With players like that, you'd want to know who was responsible in raising such record-setting athletes. We got to get to know Chuck and Noemi Howard -- Jordan and Markus' parents -- and learned a little about the sibling rivalry between the two brothers.
Georgia football had an inspiring season, coming just short of claiming their first national title since 1980. The Bulldogs faced a loaded Alabama team for an SEC showdown, but two players on the teams were excited about more than just being part of the title game -- brothers Calvin and Riley Ridley were just happy to reunite out on the field. Calvin, a junior receiver at Alabama, and Riley, a sophomore receiver for Georgia, didn't speak even through text message in the month leading up to the championship game because of the high stakes. All the more reason why their reunion was so special, no matter the outcome of the game.
Ahead of Stanford and Indiana's battle for an NCAA championship, Pam and Jeff Panchot decided that they'd be sitting right at the middle of the field, opting to be "neutral, like Switzerland." And how could you blame them. No parent wants to pick sides when their sons are pitted against each other with a national title on the line as their sons, Austin, a junior attacking midfielder for Indiana, and Logan, a freshman starting at right back for Stanford, did this year. Stanford came away with the championship trophy but the Panchots were able to add one more game played as opponents to their memories.
Twins Blake and Tyler Gillikin always have at least one parent at their games at Penn State and Northwestern, causing Walt and Taryn Gillikin to monitor either Blake's games with Penn State or Tyler's with Northwestern via phone. But this season, for the first time -- and likely the last -- the family was altogether to watch the boys in Penn State and Northwestern's Big Ten matchup in October. Even grandparents Coby and Barbara Gaulien joined in, having purchased an RV at the end of last season to tracel cross-country to watch their grandsons play.
Emma Wallen with 34 pts— UNA Athletics (@UNAAthletics) January 3, 2018
Ivy Wallen with 20 ast (!!!)
Ansley Eubank with 20 pts
Brittany Panetti with 22 pts
North Alabama was ousted in the first round of the Division II NCAA tournament in a close matchup with Lee, but before they even got to the tournament, sisters Ivy and Emma Wallen were setting records as the Lions cruised to a 12-0 start. In a 33-point win over Mississippi College, Ivy Wallen dished out 20 assists, leading the nation at the time and notching her eighth double digit assists game in the season. Emma Wallen finished with 34 points, setting a school record going 10-16 from the arc and scoring five of the baskets with assists from her sister, Ivy.
It's a rarity that siblings on Hawai'i's volleyball and football teams are in around at the same time for home games, but for their sister Kalei's Senior Day match, freshman twins Karson and Kade Greeley knew that had to be in town to show support. The two did not travel for a road game versus UNLV to make sure they were in the stands cheering on their sister in her final game as a Hawai'i Rainbw Warrior after enduring a career plagued with injuries. Despite a rough season Kalei Greeley's two brothers were there on Senior Day, proudly boosting a sign saying 'Free KG.'
In February, Angelo State softball sat at No. 5 in Division II softball and off to a 13-1 start to their season, not skipping a beat from the year previous, where they came close to winning a national title. Part of the Rambelles' dominant performance was credited to senior pitcher Morgan Hill, who started off the season pitching an 0.63 ERA. We spoke to Hill about her stellar season start and how having her younger sister, Megan, backing her up in Angelo State's bullpen has helped her improve throughout the season.
Talk about double trouble. Nevada became the first Mountain West Conference program to crack the AP Top 25 since 2015 this season, with big help from twins Caleb and Cody Martin, transfers from North Carolina State. The redshirt juniors made an immediate impact in their first season for the Wolf Pack -- Caleb led the team in most statistical categories, averaging 19.7 points, 49.8 percent shooting and a 3-point percentage of 46, while Cody was tied for third on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game, also recording 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per game at the time.
For Arizona redshirt sophomore Darick Holmes and his brother, UCLA freshman Darnay Holmes, there have been several teachable moments, starting from training with their father as kids at their family home. The elder Holmes brother cites many moments where he's passed advice to the younger Darnay, who credits his success on the field to his brother. But although each brother wanted the other to play his best in the first of several possible matchups between the Bruins and Wildcats, they were very clear about their intentions on winning the heavily anticipated game.