HAVRE — It’s been nearly a month since the Wolf Point girls basketball team won the Class B state championship, and the Bighorn twins are still hearing about it everywhere they go.
“The community has been so supportive,” said tournament MVP Imani Bighorn. “They’re still congratulating us, we can’t go anywhere around the town without people congratulating us and it’s just so nice.”
It’s validation for the sisters, especially with the many roadblocks on the winding road that brought them together again.
For their sophomore and junior seasons, Imani played for Poplar while her sister Mary remained in Wolf Point. They lived in separate households in accordance with their parents’ custody agreement.
Those years were difficult on the tight-knit siblings, who have matching arrow tattoos on their arms.
“We’re best friends, and we’re twins,” Imani said. “We’ve very close and it was really hard living away from each other, and now that we’re together, I feel like everything is just finally going into place.”
And when Poplar faced Wolf Point on the court, it was even harder. Imani is 6-foot-3, and was often matched up against her 6-foot sister.
“Playing against each other was definitely one of the biggest challenges of my life. It was a big relief playing with her this year because she’s really good,” Mary laughed. “Playing against her was really hard.”
Imani transferred back to Wolf Point at the start of the 2018-19 season, and the two led the Wolves volleyball team to state for the first time in a decade. But it was the basketball court where expectations were sky high.
In addition to Imani, Frazer standout Mya Fourstar also transferred to Wolf Point. Those first few practices were an adjustment.
“It was hard when she came back because it was something totally new and different,” said Mary. “But I think it was really easy for all of us to gel together because we have been playing together for so long.”
“There were quite a few doubters,” added Imani. “They said we were not going to gel together, we’re going to choke. We just proved everyone wrong.”
Turns out the pieces fit just fine, and the Wolves were hoisting the Class B trophy at the end of the season.
“We’re still in disbelief, it’s just a dream come true. It’s been such an amazing time,” said Imani. “Winning state was just something we’ve dreamed of for a lot of years, and the past couple weeks have just been really fun. This is, like, what we did this all for.”
But the story of the Bighorn sisters doesn’t end there. Mary and Imani will attend Haskell Indian Nations University, an NAIA school in Lawrence, Kansas where they will compete in basketball and volleyball.
“They heard about Imani, and she said ‘I have a twin sister,'” Mary explained. “I really wanted to play volleyball in college and these people came up and watched both of us play volleyball and they were like, ‘We’d love to have both of you for both sports.’ They’ve been keeping in contact with us and stuff and I think it was just kind of a fit.”
After two years apart, the Bighorn sisters will spend nearly every moment together on the court and off of it for the next four years. And that’s fine with them.
“We have our sister moments,” Imani said. “But I couldn’t live without her.”