BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Duncan brothers have always played basketball together, but they never imagined three of them would be playing Division I basketball at Vermont in the same season.
One reason that seemed out of reach is because of the age gap. Ernie Duncan is a redshirt senior; he was awarded the redshirt year after injuring his back as a freshman.
"When I got redshirted my freshman year with my back, in the back of my mind I thought, 'Well maybe this will open up a shot here (to play with Robin),'" Ernie said.
And it did just that. That redshirt season kept Ernie at Vermont an extra year, allowing him to play with his brothers Everett, a redshirt senior, and Robin, a freshman, for the 2018-19 season.
Ernie has played with Everett for many seasons from high school to college, but he never thought he'd have the opportunity to play college basketball with Robin, who enters his freshman season.
"During the recruiting process, I was thinking about going my own way, because I had some other offers I could have went to, but after my visit here, I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to come to Vermont and play with my brothers," Robin explained.
The other reason the Duncan trio is so unique is the fact that all three brothers have the skills to play Division I basketball, and they honed those skills together throughout their childhood in Evansville, IN.
"It was such an amazing time," Everett recounted. "We had a basketball goal outside, it was on the concrete, and we'd do 3-on-2. So it would be Stanley and I versus Ernie, Robin and Brandon and we used to play out there 5:00-8:00 every day... It was just a bonding thing."
Those daily scrimmages fostered five very competitive Duncan brothers, and the competition has only increased since Robin joined his brothers at UVM.
"I'm really competitive, extremely," Robin said. "Especially growing up being the little guy, I had to work a little harder to compete with them."
And their teammates certainly see that brotherly competition.
"Everything I've seen a Duncan do is competitive, no matter what it is," described Anthony Lamb, a junior forward on the Vermont basketball team. "Whether it's getting to practice first, or whatever, they're trying to compete and they're trying to win."
Despite their competitive ways, the Duncan's very much appreciate the opportunity they have this year as just the fifth trio of brothers to play together on the same Div. I basketball team in the same season.
"I think it's just going through the ups and downs with them... I feel like that creates the best relationships, winning here and then struggling, helping each other out, bringing each other along, makes it all worth the time," Everett said.
Ernie added, "I get happy with the moments of Everett passing to me and me scoring or the few moments we've had in practice, like the inter-squad scrimmage. So those things, those small little details... I'm really taking advantage of and really enjoying those moments."
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