Sibling Rivalry Drives Bahamian Brothers
Growing up in Freeport, Bahamas, brothers Aaron and Andre Levarity were as competitive as they come. The two played several sports throughout their childhood and competed against one another in almost everything they did, with neither brother wanting to lose to the other. This rivalry has helped them grow into key members of their respective teams at Milligan.
Aaron, a senior forward on the men’s basketball team, transferred to Milligan before the 2016-17 campaign and quickly emerged as a star. As a junior, he led the team in scoring with 16.9 points per game, and during his two years as a Buffalo, he has a career average of 11.1. Aaron previously played at the University of the Bahamas, before men’s basketball head coach, Bill Robinson, offered him a scholarship to play at Milligan.
“Aaron’s growth, both on and off the court, has just been simply amazing,” said Robinson. “As a person, he is kind and thoughtful, always willing to put his friends first. He was shy at first, but he has really opened up and his true personality has come out. On the court, he came to Milligan with raw athleticism and talent, but he has worked so incredibly hard on his game that he has become one of the top players in our league. His leadership has improved every year, and he has become a fan favorite. He is a great addition to the Milligan community!”
The senior earned All-Appalachian Athletic Conference first team, AAC All-Defensive team, and NAIA Division II All-America honorable mention honors for his play last season.
Andre, who was also playing for the University of the Bahamas, decided he wanted to follow his brother to Milligan. The Levarity brothers’ parents, Marcian and Melodie, helped get Andre to Milligan, and he began his career with Milligan’s men’s soccer during the 2017 season.
“Thank goodness everything worked out,” said Andre, “because I really enjoy it here.”
Since joining the team, Andre has played a strong role defensively and began the 2018 season as a starter on the back line.
“Andre’s attitude is fantastic, and he is always eager to learn,” stated interim head coach Kyle Findlay.
“He is an exceptional athlete, possessing the best vertical jump on the team. His athleticism and eagerness to help the team, however possible, was clear against Truett McConnell, where he was asked to play center back after our regular starter picked up an injury. Playing a position he had never played before, against the best striker in the conference, Andre excelled and kept his opponent out of the game. We are excited for the player Andre can become in the coming seasons. His athleticism and desire to learn and develop could see him become one of the very best in the conference.”
It’s a unique opportunity for the brothers to play at the same school, and Aaron knows that their sibling competition growing up has led them to where they are now.
“I feel like we gained from that,” said Aaron. “We understood that we were pushing each other, and that has helped better ourselves as we moved forward in our different sports.”
The two brothers were always on the same teams growing up and found ways to play as many sports as possible throughout their high school careers. Even though the two aren’t on the same team anymore, they are always there to support one another and offer up advice after each of their games. For Aaron, having his brother with him at Milligan “brings a piece of home” and it’s a “fun experience.”
While the brothers are successful on the field and court, that doesn’t define them. Both have big dreams outside of playing sports. Aaron, an exercise science major with a focus in physical therapy, plans to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist and one-day return home to the Bahamas.
“In the future, I plan on opening my own physical therapy business back home,” said Aaron. “We don’t have [physical therapy] back home to treat injuries, so I feel like that would be a good thing for the Bahamas if I could try and start something like that.”
Andre is majoring in chemistry and plans on becoming a chemical analyst. The two find ways to balance their schedules between school and athletics and know that their hard work will pay off.
Since coming to Milligan, the two have developed their own friendships with classmates and teammates, but they always know they have family close by when they need it. They are grateful for the opportunity to compete and study at Milligan and know it is special to be here together.
Aaron said when he looks back on his time at Milligan, he’ll always remember the friends he’s made, the coaching staff, Coach Robinson, and all the people of Milligan for all that they’ve done. Andre knows he will never forget the unique opportunity he has been given.
“All the new friends I’ve made, all the people that have helped me so far and will help me in the future,” stated Andre, “I just think about all the good times and I really appreciate this opportunity to get an education here and to play soccer. I appreciate that I get to do it with my brother, too. Not many people get to do that.”