Beyond the stats: Get to know the Dayton Flyers

Jan. 25—At this point in the season, it's clear that the Dayton Flyers have a good basketball team.

They are nationally ranked, on a 13-game winning streak and have an overall record of 16-2.

We know what these guys can do on the court, but how about off the court?

Here is a look at some of the members of the team beyond their stats.

DaRon Holmes II, Forward

Daron Holms is the highest-ranked high school recruit (No. 38) to ever sign with the Flyers. Coming out of high school he was a four-star prospect and a consensus top 50 recruit.

Holmes said his growth this season has especially been mentally:

"I think I improved the most from the neck up. I'm understanding the game better. I just read the game better and make better decisions and I'm also being a better leader. There comes a point in time where skills get you so far, but you need to read the game and read the other team."

Holmes entered his name in the NBA draft at the end of last season but ultimately decided to return to Dayton, saying, "My gut told me to come back. I felt like I could have went somewhere in the second round, but honestly, I wanted to boost my stock and try to get to the first round. I think Dayton has what it takes for me to do that. Also I think the team has unfinished business. I want to win games."

About coming back to Dayton after talking with his family he said, "We thought Dayton was the best option all around. We love it. We love the city. We love the team. We trust the coaching staff. We think that's a perfect place for me next year."

Holmes is majoring in Communications.

Nate Santos, Forward

Nate Santos transferred to Dayton after two seasons at The University of Pittsburgh.

Santos comes from a basketball family. His parents, Joe and Lori, his sisters Sydney and Ashley, and his brother K.J. all played for the Puerto Rican national team.

He has three siblings that also played college basketball. His sister Sydney played at Oakland, sister Ashley played basketball at Louisiana Tech and brother K.J. played at Missouri.

When he was growing up, Santos said the front room of his family home was like a trophy case, "When you first walked through the front door, there were medals, trophies, pictures, jerseys hanging up. It was pretty impressive," he said.

Santos is majoring in Communications.

Koby Brea, Guard

Although Koby Brea was born in the United States, both of his parents are from the Dominican Republic. In the summer of 2019, represented the Dominican National Team in the U-17 FIBA Centrobasket Championships in San Juan.

He chose the Flyers, in part, because he was recruited by assistant coach Ricardo Greer, a fellow Dominican-American who grew up like he did in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan.

Brea has fought through injuries during his career and now plays with rods that were surgically implanted in both tibias to mitigate stress fractures he played through during the 2022-23 season.

Former NBA standout Felipe Lopez is his godfather.

Brea is majoring in Education & Allied Studies.

Enoch Cheeks, Guard

Enoch Cheeks transferred to Dayton after two seasons as a starter at Robert Morris.

Cheeks was named by his mom for the biblical figure who was a descendent of Noah, and is a first generation American of Liberian descent.

The first UD basketball game he saw was during the 2019-20 season a fan in the stands as Rhode Island hosted the Flyers. Flyers great Obi Toppin got his 100th dunk during that game.

On becoming a Flyer, Cheeks said, "The biggest factors that led me to pick Dayton were the team and the community...My visit felt like I had been there all year. The community was very welcoming and outgoing, and it made me feel really comfortable."

Cheeks is the first Flyer to ever wear No. 6.

Cheeks is majoring in General Studies.

Isaac Jack, Center

Isaac Jack transferred to Dayton after playing one year at Buffalo.

Jack enjoyed playing hockey, soccer and going snowboarding growing up, He did not take playing basketball seriously until 2020.

Jack comes from an athletic family. His mother, Anna, was a two-sport athlete at Brigham Young University who was a two-time NCAA discus champion and is in the BYU Athletics Hall of Fame.

Jack's hometown, Port Alberni, B.C., is 2,078 miles from Dayton. His is one of two Flyers, including Kobe Elvis, who are from Canada.

Jack is the tallest player on the team, measuring in at 6-foot-11.

About choosing Dayton, Jack said, "I wanted to go to a well-established program, somewhere that's had a winning culture, and a place that develops their guys. Dayton has a good history of developing their bigs with Obi (Toppin) and (DaRon) Holmes last year. And it felt like family."

Jack is majoring in Education (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5)

Kobe Elvis, Guard

When Kobe Elvis' mom, Joy, came from Guyana to Canada in the early 1990s, she fell in love with the NBA and by the end of the decade had become a true Kobe Bryant fan.

When her son was born, the Lakers were on their NBA championship run and she named him after the L.A star.

On his bedroom wall, he had a Kobe photo he'd cut from a magazine and he said he often watched YouTube videos of Bryant's highlights.

Elvis said he is not trying to be a Kobe clone. "That's something I couldn't possibly do. I don't have his physique, his build. I can't do what he did. But that's not saying there aren't some things you can't take from his game. And I tried to be the best Kobe I could be," he said.

Elvis is majoring in Communications.

Javon Bennett, Guard

On coming to play for the Flyers after a year at Merrimack College, Javon Bennett said, "We were blown away by what Dayton had to offer and the resources and the community, and we were like, 'Yeah, it's a no brainer. This is where I want come next season.'"

Bennett, at 5-foot-10, is the shortest player on the team, but he does not let that get in his way. "At any height you can make an impact. You just have to work hard and find the ways you are going to impact the game," he said.

Over the years he has been underestimated because of his size and he admitted that has left him with "a chip on my shoulder."

Bennett is majoring in Health Science.

Local Flyers on the roster

Evan Dickey, Guard, Chaminade Julienne High School

Brady Uhl, Guard, Alter High School

CJ Napier, Forward, Fenwick High School

Will Maxwell, Guard, Oakwood High School

Makai Grant, Guard, Chaminade Julienne High School