BILLINGS — Ky (Buell) Oliver and Graedyn Buell are separated by just 13 months, and they’re about as close as siblings can get.
“I enjoy watching him play. I travel all the time to watch him play. It's much easier for me because our season is after theirs, so I can travel all the time. I really enjoy it. I'm his number one fan," Oliver said.
“I enjoy watching her play. I missed watching her hit shots and all that stuff when I was in North Dakota, so I enjoy getting to watch her play. It's pretty easy, especially with all your boys are sitting there getting hyped with you. It's pretty awesome," Buell said.
Graduates of Cheyenne East High School in Wyoming, Ky started her basketball career under Wes Keller at Rocky Mountain College, while Graedyn took the JUCO route at North Dakota State School of Science. When his name came up in the transfer portal, Ky was in Rocky football head coach Chris Stutzriem’s ear about getting Graedyn on campus.
“It was huge. Her being here I decided to give it one more go, and that's why I decided to come here," Buell said.
“All the time. I've got to go tell Stutz after this that I need some gear for getting him here," Oliver said. "I'm taking all the credit for that one."
Their ties to the Frontier Conference, though, date back much further. Their parents played at Tech and Western, and Ky and Graedyn spent a couple of their younger years in Dillon.
“When I came back the first time and I was playing for Rocky, the first time home - we grew up there, so it was like walking into your childhood," Oliver said. "Memories come back. I remember playing with (Graedyn) in the gym all the time."
It’s come full circle for the family now with Ky and Graedyn starring for Rocky in their respective sports. Graedyn’s ascension to multi-time Frontier player of the week might have shocked some, but not his family.
“There's no surprise for me. I know how he's played, I've watched him. He goes out and competes every game, so that wasn't ever a surprise that he was going to get his shot. He's, in my mind, the best football player I've ever watched," Oliver said.
The Frontier Conference roots run deep in the Buell family, and now Ky and Graedyn get to leave their mark.