Triple-threat siblings are a first for Gryphon athletics
BY REBECCA KENDALL
Kate Nevar and her twin brothers, Luke and Zack, have been shooting hoops together since they were old enough to dribble a ball. Now, they've brought their family act to U of G, where they're all members of the basketball Gryphons.
“This is a first for the University,” says Michelle Turley, sports information co-ordinator for the Department of Athletics. “We've had pairs of siblings in every combination, and we've even had twins play the same sport, but having three siblings playing the same sport at the same university is pretty unusual.”
Kate, a third-year biomedical sciences student, jokes that her brothers “came here because of me.” It's a statement that's flatly denied by Luke and Zack, who are both in first year and credit a variety of other deciding factors.
“The coaching staff is great, we knew some of the older players already and, facility-wise, it's not too big and not too small,” says Zack, who is studying international development. Academics and the school's atmosphere were also important, adds Luke, an economics major.
As fraternal twins, Zack and Luke say that, although they look a lot alike, most people can tell them apart. There are exceptions, of course.
“One of our teammates at Guelph who played against us in high school didn't know there were two of us,” says Zack. “He used to yell at the ref because he thought there was one guy playing the whole game, which isn't allowed.”
Kate, Zack and Luke, along with their older brother, Matt, a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, all started playing basketball around age seven in their hometown of Port Colborne, but only the younger three went on to play at the university level.
“Matt didn't play past high school, but he's by far the best shooter among the four of us,” says Kate. “I won OFSAA, though. Did you guys ever win OFSAA?” A deafening silence fills the room, only to be broken by the reporter's next question.
Kate says her younger brothers now understand how difficult it is to take a full university course load while balancing practices, workouts and games (about 20 hours a week during the season). Both Luke and Zack say their sister has been helpful in easing their transition to becoming student athletes at U of G.
“People don't understand how hard it is being a varsity athlete,” says Luke. “You have your team and coaches who support you, but it's nice to have family.”
Adds Kate: “I love the fact that they're here. I didn't appreciate them as much when I was younger, but when I moved away, I definitely missed them. When they decided to come here, I was so happy. I wait for them after practice every day and give them big hugs.”
The trio says it's also great for their parents, who can hit one stop to see their three children play. And with the Nevars playing on both the men's and women's teams, their parents have better odds that at least one of their children will have a winning result on any given game day.
“They love that we're here together,” Kate says.
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