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Q2 AOW: MSU Billings' high-flying Tot brothers driven by competitive hoops family

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 17:58:14-05

BILLINGS — If you see one Tot brother roaming the Montana State Billings campus, the other is likely close by.

“We do everything together. Parties, basketball, chilling in the room playing games, we're always together. It's a family thing," Jajuan Tot said.

Jalen and Jajuan Tot are the two boys in a set of triplets. Their sister Nevaeh currently plays basketball for the Big 12’s Oklahoma Sooners. Their mother spent a decade in the WNBA and their father played big-time college ball at Penn State.

Talk about some intense driveway hoops rivalries.

“Knowing that she could hoop and kind of compete with us kind of made it even better. Like I need to get better, she needs to get better. It was always competitive. Anything we did was competitive," Jalen Tot said. "We'd have little battles where I'd get mad then he'd get mad, but at the end of the day that's still my brother."

Those battles only brought the trio closer. Jalen and Jajuan are their sister’s biggest fans from afar, routinely having Oklahoma women’s games on in their dorm.

You guessed it, the brothers live together, just as they did growing up and in Glendive at Dawson Community college. For two guys from Dallas, there was a bit of culture shock when first getting to Montana.

“I had never seen a deer. I'd never seen one before. My first night I was like, 'What is that?' That was a little eye-opening for me, and then just the cold," Jalen said.

They say they weren’t necessarily a package deal, but they’ve fit well at each stop. Jajuan starts for MSUB and is more pass-first, while Jalen comes off the bench and is slightly more aggressive hunting his shot. But who has the career high?

“Me," Jalen said. "I think I do. I think 28 points is my career high? What do you think?

"I think I had 29. I could have had 30," Jajuan said.

"I'll let you have that one," Jalen said.

One thing is for certain, though. Jalen is the sky-walker in the family.

“Once I realized in eighth grade that I could pretty much get up there, I was doing all kinds of workouts. I was asking my trainer what can I do to get bouncier? What should I eat more of?" Jalen said. "Gradually, when you tend to jump and try to dunk it, you get better and better, higher and higher. You realize how to dunk and how to jump and what's best for you."

Close on and off the floor, the Tot brothers have had a big hand in MSUB’s unbeaten start in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play. The Jackets (14-4, 8-0 GNAC) are in action next at Seattle Pacific on Saturday.