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Skyla Osceola, Grant twins grateful for being NSU teammates

From left to right, Kyarrah Grant, Skyla Osceola and Kyannah Grant are playing together on the Nova Southeastern University women’s basketball team. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

Editor’s note: This story appeared in the Nov. 30, 2022, issue of The Seminole Tribune.

DAVIE — Life is good for Skyla Osceola, Kyannah Grant and Kyarrah Grant.

Osceola (Seminole Tribe) has returned to playing college basketball while the Grant twins (Choctaw/Navajo) have been reunited on the court.

The best part of it, they said, is that they are all together on the same team and living under the same roof. The roof belongs to Osceola, whose house on the Hollywood Reservation is home to all three. For math majors, that figure represents 21 percent of the Nova Southeastern University women’s basketball team, not including Osceola’s three dogs.

Of course, winning helps keep the house a happy one, and NSU has been piling up victories. As of Nov. 29, the Sharks remained perfect with a 6-0 record.

A year ago, only Kyarrah was on the team. It took some persuading and lobbying to get all three on board this summer. Osceola said the twins were the main reason she decided to return to the team after a hiatus.

“They definitely had a big influence on me coming back,” Osceola said.

Nova Southeastern University’s Skyla Osceola brings the ball up the court in a game against Flagler College on Nov. 19, 2022, in Davie. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

As soon as Kyannah, who played the past four years at the University of Tennessee at Martin, became available to pick a new school, her twin and Osceola were on her like vultures to come to NSU.

“I decided to put my name in the transfer portal. As soon as I got in there, Kyarrah was on me and Sky was on me and they even had (NSU) coach (LeAnn) Freeland on me,” Kyannah said.

In fact, NSU was alone at the top of Kyannah’s list.

“My parents wanted me to see what offers I could get, but I was like, ‘no, this is the place I want to go,’” said Kyannah, who is four 30-second shot clocks older than Kyarrah.

All three are graduate students in pursuit of master’s degrees: Osceola (leadership), Kyannah (computer science) and Kyarrah (public health). They take their academics seriously as well as their basketball careers, but they also embrace their status as Native Americans in NCAA college athletics.

The trio was recently highlighted by the team in an Instagram post where they shared their thoughts about the importance of National Native American Heritage Month in November.

They’ve succeeded in reaching high levels of collegiate ball and want younger Natives to know they can do the same.

Kyannah Grant provides a pick for her twin sister Kyarrah Grant during a game against Flagler College on Nov. 19, 2022. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

“When you do it, you grow so much more from it,” Kyarrah said. “That’s what I want for everyone in our tribe and every tribe to know that you can do it, and when you do, you will be so much better for yourself and for the tribe.”

“At the end of the day, it comes to just wanting to be better for yourself, wanting to make a difference for your tribe and where you come from and who you are representing,” Osceola said. “Yes, I’m representing myself, but what it all comes down to is I’m representing where I come from.”

It was at a 2017 Native tournament – NAYO – where Osceola and the Grants first tasted success together. They were teammates on a championship team and remained friends as they began their college careers. Osceola started at NSU in the fall of 2017 and made an immediate impact on both sides of the court with 90 assists and 66 defensive rebounds – both team highs.

Since then, injuries have prevented her from attaining those types of numbers again, but she is determined to enjoy this season. She has contributed coming off the bench, most notably with nine points in 16 minutes in a win against St. Augustine’s University on Nov. 22.

“I’m pretty healthy. I’m still working through some things – I always will be – but overall I’m feeling pretty good,” she said.

The Grants, meanwhile, starred for four years at Choctaw Central High School in Mississippi and remained together for one year at UT-Martin. Kyarrah left, but Kyannah stayed.

“We always decided that we were going to play college all four years together,” Kyannah said. “We committed to the same place. I didn’t have a good time there, so I wanted to transfer early. We had a tough talk about that. It was really rough, the first few months I was away from her, because we were practically stuck to the hip together every day.”

Now they are in the same backcourt again as starting guards. The sisters are each averaging about seven points per game and have had multiple double-digit games in scoring.

Although NSU didn’t crack Division II’s top 25 rankings that was released Nov. 15, the Sharks should begin to catch attention soon with their strong start that has been fueled in part by the Grants and Osceola.

“It’s amazing for all of us to be together at a top D-II college,” Osceola said.

Skyla Osceola, center, and her teammates cheer from the bench during Nova Southeastern’s game against Flagler College on Nov. 19, 2022. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at