Kickapoo’s Tolliver remaining connected to the Ozarks

Anthony Tolliver is most well-known for his time on the court, but basketball is not the only passion for the NBA veteran.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Tolliver said.

With that mindset, Tolliver and long-time friend Kelly Byrne founded a real estate company.

Now, they’re introducing their latest property: Black Rock Living in Nixa.

“[We’re] kind of targeting the empty-nesters,” Tolliver said. “You know the people who, their kids are going off to college or whatever it may be.”

The 12-year pro says it’s another chance to invest back into the Ozarks where he was raised.

“I’ve lived in 10, 11, 12 different cities, a couple different countries, but I’ve never felt a connection to a place more than my own home,” Tolliver said.

That’s partly because Springfield is where he laid the foundation for his career. He won a 2003 state championship with Kickapoo before beginning his college career at Creighton.

His ties to those schools made the cancellation of 2020 basketball that much tougher.

“Not only was Kickapoo in a position where they were going to compete for a state championship, but Creighton was in a position where a lot of people had them going to the Final Four, or even the finals. So to cancel basketball in March of [this] year. Oh that hurt. That really hurt,” Tolliver said.

That’s because Tolliver still roots for his Chiefs and Blue Jays. He knows Kickapoo is a strong favorite to compete for this upcoming season’s state title.

“When they do win it, I can’t wait for everybody to talk about ‘are they better than the 2003 team?’ And the answer is going to be no,” Tolliver said with a laugh.

Of course, his competitive side will always say his Chiefs were the best Kickapoo team.

Yet, Tolliver is hoping for that comparison.

“If any of you guys are listening from Kickapoo, go get that championship and then we’ll have that discussion. We’ll talk about it.”

Those words are spoken from a man who hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

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