Sports

Strictly business on court for Sullivan bros.

By
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Most people go to college to get away from their younger siblings, but it ended up being a different story for the Sullivan brothers, who share more than just the basketball floor here at Brown.

Peter Sullivan ’11 and Matt Sullivan ’13 are the first brother duo to start together at Brown since Don Tarr ’65 and Dave Tarr ’66 lettered together for two years, according to Brown’s Sports Information Office.

“It is the first time we have really played together,” Matt said. “(Peter) plays hard. … It’s good to be able to look up to someone like that.”

For Peter, playing with his younger brother Matt is “like any other teammate … you get to know each other’s tendencies,” he said. “It’s good playing together because we both help out the team in different ways.”

But a friendly sibling rivalry still exists even while away from their hometown of Wilmette, Ill. For instance, when asked how one-on-one contests go or even who was taller, older brother Peter was quick to respond.

“I always win, every single time,” Peter said.

When further comparing himself to his brother, Peter confidently said Matt is an inch shorter than he is, contrary to what the Brown roster might read.

“He’s a tall 6-5, and I’m a short 6-5,” Matt agreed.

Matt also added that their teammates say he is “the less intense version” of his brother Peter.

Peter and Matt are the first from their family to attend Brown, but they agreed it would be great if either of their younger siblings ended up choosing the same route.

Off the court, the two eldest siblings still spend plenty of time together through social events on campus. Peter said one of his favorite things about Brown is the closeness of the community and how he and his brother are able to share many friends.

In addition to enjoying the distinctive curriculum, Matt said he chose Brown because “it felt like home.” Of course, this could have something to do with part of his home — Peter — already being here.

But Matt said joining a team that already featured his brother was not completely ideal.
“If you would ask me what one of the harder things about playing with (Peter) was, it would be the expectation that he had such a good freshman year,” Matt said.

During his freshman season, Peter posted impressive numbers. He scored double figures in 11 games, was the second-leading scorer among Ivy freshmen with an average of 8.7 points per game and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week four times.

This season, Matt has started in 20 games as guard and received Rookie of the Week honors for his performances during the week of Nov. 23 that helped Brown to win two of their three games, averaging 10.3 points and 4.7 assists in that stretch.

So far on the year, tri-captain and All-Ivy forward Peter has started in all 21 games. He registered his first career double-double against American on Jan. 2.

The star siblings also bring quite a fan base to the basketball games, whether they are at Brown or another location on the East Coast, where many family members live. Peter explained that this adds to the fun.

“It’s really nice to have our family come out over the last two years,” he said. “There has been someone at almost every game, it seems like.”

For the remaining games, the Sullivans just want to play solid basketball.

“We would obviously like to win more games,” Peter said. “Every single game is so crucial in the Ivy League.”

“I would like to see us do better than last year,” Matt said. “We are tougher than what we have been in the past.”