March 9th, 2019 is a date the Rigsby family will never forget.
In the course of about 45 minutes last Saturday, Colorado Mesa sophomore Kylyn Rigsby won the RMAC Basketball Tournament Championship with her team, followed quickly by her brother Brennan winning the CHSAA State Basketball Title with the De Beque Dragons.
For a family well-acquainted with athletic competiton, this was just another chapter in the Kylyn-Brennan sibling rivarly.
"There's always been some...competitive fire. Let's call it that," Kylyn and Brennan's mother, Melissa Rigsby said laughing.
"We always played each other in basketball, football," De Beque sophomore Brennan Rigsby recalled. "Everything we did was always competition. You had to be the fastest, the most skilled. I think it helped us out a lot."
After Kylyn graduted high school and headed to CMU, the siblings transitioned from fierce competitors, to each other's biggest supporters. Kylyn received a scholarship to play basketball with the Mavericks, while Brennan chose De Beque (not Grand Valley, like her sister) to continue his education.
Their words collided once more when both siblings realized, just maybe, their title games would fall on the same day. March 9th. Brennan and the Dragons would play in Pueblo for a state title, while Kylyn was lucky enough to stay home and compete at Brownson Arena.
"We talked about it months ago, saying 'well, we better both win,'" Kylyn said. "'If we're going to be split up we better both win.'"
Kylyn insisted the majority of her family travel the 5+ hours to Pueblo to watch Brennan. De Beque basketball had not won a state championship in 20 years, and she knew, win or lose, it was Brennan's last game of the season.
But that didn't mean mom and dad didn't find ways to watch the action closer to home.
"We still had it on our phones," Melissa Rigsby said. "My sister-in-law was on the other side [of the gym] with her phone, and Kylyn would do something and we would all look up at each other!"
Kylyn and the Mavericks pulled out their victory first Saturday night, defeating Westminster 67-50 to claim the RMAC Tournament Championship. Kylyn was also named to the RMAC All-Tournament team, beaming while holding the trophy. Amid the victory celebration on Brownson's floor, she was getting updates from the other side of the state.
"In the middle of all that chaos, it was pretty cool. We won, we were going to cut down the net, and all my family was like, 'Brennan's winning, there's only two minutes left!"
Shortly after, the buzzer sounded at CSU-Pueblo's Massari Arena, signaling De Beque's 55-42 win over Sangre de Cristo. The dream night for the Rigsby family came true.
"I had people I didn't even know coming up to me and saying, 'did you hear Brennan won too!?'"," Kylyn recalled. "It was awesome that everyone wanted to see us both succeed. That was so special."
The Rigsby family seems to know, despite the years of bruised elbows, sibling fights and tears, the competitive spirit between Brennan and Kylyn helped mold both athletes into their successful selves.
"I think that makes us who we are. We were constantly competing with each other, but also supporting each other and building each other up."