If his team won a home game last season, Transylvania Coach Brian Lane knew one of his players might not stay in the locker room to celebrate. Instead, Zack Pulliam would head for the door.
“I knew where he was going,” Lane said. “He’d smile at me. And I’d smile at him.”
Pulliam was going to Rupp Arena to watch Kentucky play and support his older brother, Dillon Pulliam.
With home games no more than a mile apart, it could hardly have been more convenient for Bill and Debbie Pulliam to support their sons.
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“With him being in Lexington, I was able to go to probably six or seven of his games last year and watch him play,” Dillon said. “He’s able to come to mine.”
Zack made 39 percent of his three-point shots last season. He averaged 4.0 points. He decided not to play this season in order to concentrate on academics.
Dillon played for Transylvania before transferring to UK two years ago. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds as a freshman in the 2014-15 season.
“Both highly intelligent,” Lane said of the brothers. “Really were great listeners. Solid teammates. Both really understand the team concept.”
Growing up, the brothers played one-on-one on a court at their Cynthiana home that includes a three-point line.
“We played every single day …,” Dillon said. “After doing homework, we’d go out there (and) spend 30, 40 minutes or an hour every day playing one-on-one.”
When asked who won these games, Dillon said, “Early on, I beat him every single time. I didn’t let him win. Obviously, you don’t want to let your brother win anything.”
By the time Dillon was a high school senior, his “little” brother was taller and on the way to being 6-foot-6.
“I was extremely jealous,” Dillon said. “I was, like, ‘Mom, why can’t I grow taller? Little brother is taller than me. What’s up with this?’”
Neither brother dominates the one-on-one games now. “We still play to this day,” Dillon said. “They’re pretty competitive games.”
Zack is an engineering major, as is Dillon.
A way the brothers differ is how Zack is more artistic. Their mother, Debbie, is an art teacher at Harrison County High School.
“Whereas I can’t draw a good stick figure, he can draw,” Dillon said. “This summer he drew a portrait of Drake. He drew Travis Scott, who is another rapper. It looks like they’re life-like photos. They’re so vivid and good.
“I didn’t get blessed.”
Dillon said he’s more like his father, Bill, who has a keen interest in math and science.
“That’s where I got that ability,” Dillon said. “My brother inherited both (science/math from the father, art from the mother). Lucky him.”
Dillon, who has made the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll in each of his two seasons at Kentucky, expects to graduate in the spring. He has a double major in computer engineering and computer science. He also minors in math.
“The long-term plan is to get a Master’s …,” he said. “I want to develop new technology.”