High expectations for Brea after injury-shortened freshman season

Brea (No. 4) defends against a Cedarville player during the Flyers’ 94-60 exhibition win Nov. 1 at UD Arena. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.

Jamie Blodgett | Contributing Writer

Basketball is back at UD arena as the Flyers look towards the beginning of the regular season Nov. 9. When speaking with sophomore guard Koby Brea about the upcoming season, Brea reflected,”This upcoming season means everything to me. I’m really excited about the opportunity that we have ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see what it is like to play in front of the best fans in college basketball.”

This season the arena will fully welcome fans back. Brea noted,”fans can expect a team that’s exciting to watch because we have a young team, but also a hungry and connected team that wants to win and do it together.” 

The Redshirt Freshman guard confirmed he is back from an injury that derailed his freshman campaign.

“I’m back to 110 percent with my injury from last season thanks to the amazing trainers and doctors that we have here in Dayton!”

Oct. 7 was media day, and Flyer News had the opportunity of speaking further with Brea. With no seniors on the team Brea is one of the older teammates at just 18 years old. 

“I feel like I am still a freshman, honestly…I still haven’t played in front of huge crowds…”

Brea took last season’s injury as a learning experience. 

“Last season when I was out due to my injury I felt like I was losing out on early experience, but I try to look at everything in a positive way and so due to my injury I was able to see a lot, being off the court in practice and in games. That experience taught me that as a player and a person you have to know how to turn every bad situation into a positive one. Even though I wasn’t able to play, I was able to learn a lot from the outside. It also taught me to be patient with myself because everything was a process.”

We also asked Brea what advice he has for younger athletes looking to someday play at the collegiate level. 

“Advice I would give any younger athlete that is looking to play college basketball one day would be to be patient with their process, but get at least 1% better every day. For me, I was tested with my patience a lot. I didn’t receive my first college offer until I was a junior in high school which now [adays] is considered late. I continued to work and everything fell into place.”

Brea has high expectations for the upcoming season “some of my goals this upcoming season is to do whatever is needed in order to win. We are playing to win championships and so I know I have to bring everything [I’ve] got to the court. Lastly, I’m super excited for me and my team to shock many people this year, and I’m definitely excited to play in front of the best fans in the country for the first time. It’s time to shock the world!”

Assistant Coach Darren Hertz spoke further about Brea’s presence on the team. 

“Koby is a wing with great size who will play both the shooting guard and small forward positions. Koby has a gift for shooting the basketball and therefore helps us stretch the defense with his ability to knock down shots from beyond the 3-point line. With his added strength and one year of experience, he’s also expanded his game in terms of scoring in a variety of ways… in one breath Koby has a lot of experience at Dayton relative to the rest of our team. However, he’s still the second-youngest player on our team so that needs to be kept in perspective. So far, he’s done a good job trying to help the new guys get acclimated both on and off the court.” 

Brea certainly holds a “gift” for the game of basketball. He averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists a game his senior year of high school. According to ESPN in Argentina “Brea, que ha causado un gran impacto en la comunidad dominicana en Nueva York por su talento en la cancha, jugó con la selección U-17 de República Dominicana el pasado año.” Translated, the article speaks on Brea’s time representing the Dominican National Team in the U-17 ​​FIBA Centrobasket Championships in San Juan in 2019, and how that made a big impact on his community. 

Coach Hertz spoke on the expectations of Koby going into this season. 

We have high expectations for Koby. But no higher than he has for himself! He’s hard on himself. Koby wants to be great! And he’s willing to put the work in to become great. The biggest thing for any player, especially one with limited experience is to find a level of consistency night in night out. Can he do the things to help impact winning even on the nights he’s not making jumpshots? Things like defending and rebounding. Those are some of the challenges in front of Koby. Koby is a great young man with a very bright future. We’re excited for him to finally be able to play in front of the Flyer Faithful. Just like the majority of our team, Koby hasn’t played a game in a packed arena yet. We know he’s excited to get this season started!”

Associate Head Coach Ricardo Greer added, “Koby adds leadership, shooting and great attitude. Super excited for him this year. Koby has matured so much from last year. His preparation and dedication in the off season has giv[en] him an opportunity to be able [to] help this team this year win some games.”

Brea is an undeclared major within the College of Arts and Science and was the co-recipient of the Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship for the 2020-2021 season. 

Standing at 6-foot-6, you can expect to see Brea at the regular season home opener at UD Arena Nov. 9 against University of Illinois-Chicago wearing the No. 4 jersey.

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