How footballer Trevor Gari dunked his way to Basketball Premier League
Lakesides Trevor Gari (left) in action against Strathmore University’s Ariel Ortega during 2019 Biro Lich Basketball tournament in Kisumu. [Washington Onyango, Standard]

Trevor Gari is easy to spot on the basketball court not only for his athleticism, basketball skills, and intimidating presence but also for an even simpler reason, he is a tall and also heavily built.

He has accomplished plenty in just two seasons with Lakeside. Together with shooting guard Dennis Wekesa and forward Collins Wataka, he played a key role in the team’s play-off run last season, aiding his team to a single-season record 15 wins.

“You can just see he’s a competitor,” Lakeside head coach Paddy Agoro said in an interview with Standard Sports. “Trevor loves to compete, no matter what sport it is. He would even be competitive in a game of cards.”

Born in Kisumu, Gari was raised in a family of sports (father played football, uncle played basketball and mother was a hockey player). Thus, adjusting to sports was not an issue.

Influenced in his younger days by his uncles, Francis “Dumas” Oduor and Ronny Owino (national team women head coach), Gari was introduced to basketball at the age of seven years.

However, when he joined Arya Primary School, his love for basketball would wither after being attracted to football, which was the most common sport in the school.

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“There was no basketball court in the school and most of my friends loved playing football. So I quit basketball and played football for eight years in primary school.”

He would then join Kisii rugby powerhouse Cardinal Otunga High School in 2009 before transferring to multiple Nyanza region basketball champions Maseno School the following year.

While basketball came easy to him as a youngster, Gari was in for a surprise. It took him some time to adjust to the new surrounding of high school basketball.

“In my first time with Maseno first team, I showed up in a games kit and rubber shoes while everyone was on full basketball shoes and kits. They laughed at me at first but when I picked up the ball during three point throws, they saw potential in me,” Gari said.

A year later, Gari got into the team’s first team with the help of Billy Nyagosia.

He went on to play during the national games and taking Maseno to the East African games in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Gari joined Strathmore University in 2014, a year that he would make his debut in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Men’s Premier League and making the play-offs before leaving in 2015.

For two years, he did not play competitive basketball because of school work and the passing on of his father in 2017 made even basketball life harder.

However, after Lakeside was promoted to the Premier league in 2017, he signed for them in 2018.

Though on and off the pitch for most of the 2018 season, Gari hit his best, last season (averaging 20 points per game) after guiding the team to their maiden KBF playoffs, where they were knocked out by champions Ulinzi Warriors in the quarter-finals.

Heading into his third season with Lakeside in the Premier League he says they are ready to challenge for the title.

He is confident of making it to the national basketball team Morans.


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