There is an old adage that states “Home is people. Not a place.” A simple, yet poignant message that resonates with both the young and old. When we reflect on what has made us into the person we are today, we often begin by referencing the people. It isn’t the location, rather the people in the location. Like many of us, Koby Brea can relate to this old adage. For Koby, his entire life has been shaped by the people. His people. They have been in his corner since day one. It doesn’t matter the place or the time, they are always around one another, together.

Koby has felt this togetherness his entire life.

“It was crazy. Everyone is just always around. Holidays. Everything. We were just always together,” he said.

As Koby reminisced on the moments with his family at holidays and other events, one thing really stood out. The power of presence. It didn’t matter why they were there or what they were doing. All that mattered was that they were together. This community is something that has just always been a given.

That community extended into sports. Koby comes from an athletic family. His father was a very successful basketball player who competed in multiple tournaments throughout New York City. From a young age, Koby remembers going to these tournaments with his dad and watching him play. He says that really sparked his love for the game. Koby is the first to say that it is rare for him to be playing basketball instead of baseball. Koby joked that “Whenever I tell people where I am from in New York, the first thing they ask is if I play baseball?” However, his love for basketball only grew as he grew. Through late night games of pickup with his dad and brother, he learned how to compete and play the game.

Koby started playing basketball in high school. However, the self-proclaimed “late bloomer” didn’t make the varsity squad until his junior year. Throughout this process, one thing remained true. He had his community there to support him, including at hits games. Koby smiled as he talked about the support.

“In our gym, people called the section Little D.R. (Dominican Republic). My community came out in full force to support,” he said. “They would take over a whole quarter of the bleachers and just be there to support.”

This group was there to support Koby. They were there, together.

This support is special. It is what motivates Koby. He knows that every time he puts on a jersey, he is representing something beyond himself. He is representing his community. His people. His country.

As he says, “When I step on the court, I fear nothing. I know that I am representing my family and my country.”

The game of basketball has become a catalyst for Koby to bring his community together.

It comes to no surprise that this strong sense of community was a big selling point for the Flyers when it came to Koby’s recruitment. Koby built a relationship with Coach Ricardo Greer (an incredible player from the Dominican Republic in his own right) that helped give Koby a glimpse into the University of Dayton. As he learned more about the university, he got to know Coach Anthony Grant and the rest of the staff. For Koby, he quickly realized that the University of Dayton felt comfortable. That comfort came through the familiarity that he felt with the staff, players, and Dayton community. The emphasis on community and love that he felt from the Dayton Flyers community helped him make the decision to commit.

For Koby, it was simple. “One of the most important things in basketball is togetherness.” Koby felt at home with the Flyers.

Now, as Koby gets ready to embark on the next chapter of his journey, he is excited. He is ready to fully embrace and grow with his new community. He hopes that his positivity will allow him to see success both on and off the court. No matter how the next couple of years turn out, there is one thing that is a definite. Koby Brea is going to have the unwavering support of his community. Whether it is the Dayton community, his family and community back home, the basketball community, or any other community; we are all going to be standing together in support of Koby. Together.

Koby Brea and his father

The Flight is a weekly series that highlights the incredible stories of our student athletes on our Men's and Women's Basketball teams. Be on the lookout for new stories every Thursday and Friday throughout the summer.

Story and Graphics by: Ryan Phillips, Marketing and Digital Strategy Coordinator Dayton Flyer Athletics