Watch closely during the video of Catholic University’s 2012–13 Landmark Conference Championship 63–62 win in men’s basketball and you’ll see Kevin Phanord fly across the court to join his teammates in an exultant celebration. This, he said, was one of his favorite moments as a Cardinal athlete.
Kevin and Kyle had the ability to both compete athletically and excel academically.
“My experience at Catholic University was amazing. If we could do the four years over again, we would.”— Kevin Phanord, B.S. 2016
Kevin and Kyle Phanord, both B.S. 2016, biology, don’t play much basketball these days. While they both played guard throughout high school and on the courts at the DuFour Center for the Cardinals, these days they’ll be found working at their father’s dental practice in South Florida and seeing up to 20 patients each day.
The fraternal twins were born only a few minutes apart, with Kevin beating his brother by two minutes. They attended a small, private high school, and, then, during their college years at CatholicU they lived together — in Flather Hall, Centennial Village, and Engelhard. They roomed together again during graduate school at the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida (UF).
2013 Landmark Championship Final
“We’ve been roommates ever since we were out of our mom’s womb,” Kyle joked. Currently, they’re living at home with their parents as they complete their first year as full-time dentists and look for a place of their own.
Not only are they both dentists, but they wore consecutive jersey numbers in high school (Kyle, 10, and Kevin, 11) and 1 and 2 for the Cardinals.
There are differences, of course.
“My brother is a little more outgoing. His play is a little more offensive” rather than defensive, Kevin said. “We never looked enough alike to mess with the other teams, though.”
Both Kyle and Kevin are 5’10”, which they acknowledge is on the shorter end for basketball players.
“When we started the recruiting process, we said we wouldn’t mind splitting up and going to smaller schools so we would have the chance to play,” Kevin said.
At the time the twins were researching colleges, Coach Steve Howes — who retired from the University in 2019 — was the Cardinal men’s basketball coach. He made a special call to Kyle and Kevin’s mother.
“He had twin sisters, and he understood the twin dynamic. He came down to Florida to see us play, and we committed on the trip,” Kevin said. “The whole basketball family is really close. When we came up for a visit in high school, everyone was so nice. Everyone was so genuine.”
He said coming to Catholic University enabled them to meet great people. Mike Allen, former vice president for student affairs, was athletic director at the time, and Kevin and Kyle still keep in touch.
“We had dinner with [Mike Allen] a few months ago. We were able to reconnect when we found out he was president at Barry University. He remembered meeting our parents.”— Kevin Phanord, B.S. 2016
Did they always want to be dentists? Not exactly.
“When we were younger, we wanted to be professional athletes,” Kevin said, but that changed as they got older. He explained that, in addition to their father — who hails from Haiti — being a dentist, their mom, originally from Colombia, is a nurse. “We grew up around the dental office and among the staff. Dad has been a dentist since 1981. In high school, we started to see more of what he does, and we always knew we wanted to do something in the medical field. At that point, we were 90 percent sure we were going to be starting at Catholic University.”
2016 Landmark Championship Final
Kyle said they started shadowing at their dad’s practice their sophomore year at CatholicU, which confirmed that helping the community through dentistry was their true calling.
Both of them have favorite Catholic University memories that, not surprisingly, involve basketball. In the later Landmark Championship during the 2015–2016 season, both Phanords scored points that contributed to the 83–80 win.
“For me, my favorite memory on court was winning two Landmark Championships, our freshman and senior years. Off the court, we had such a great experience at Catholic. We were able to have one-on-one relationships with our advisor and all our professors. Pre-dental is a demanding major, and you can get lost in big schools. We were able to go right into dental school.”— Kyle Phanord, B.S. 2016
He added they still keep in touch with a number of their CatholicU instructors. “It was an awesome four years, having that family atmosphere. We still have interactions with the faculty frequently.”
They both feel that their Catholic University experience made their current careers possible.
“If I had to make the decision again, I’m going to CatholicU and I’m playing basketball.”— Kyle Phanord, B.S. 2016
They credit the University with paving their way to graduate school.
“At 6 a.m., on December 1, 2015, we got the call. UF called us each back-to-back to tell us we’d been accepted to dental school. It was our top choice, and where our dad went to school,” Kevin said, adding the championship wins are his favorite on-court memories, too.
Another thing they have both carried with them from their time at the University is the need to give back. It’s something they continued in graduate school, taking three separate mission trips during their time at UF, going to the Dominican Republic with their church to provide dental care to the underserved.
“Catholic University was really big on mission work. Every day we’re seeing people in our community,” he said.
“Most of our offices are in underserved areas in Miami,” Kyle said. “It’s about being able to continue to serve the community.”
“It’s the biggest blessing,” Kevin echoed, adding that, since their father has been in practice so long, they are now seeing multiple generations of the same families. “There are two office locations, and we’re at the point where we’re seeing grandkids of families. We have a 45-year-old patient who came in and said, ‘At 15, your dad did all our fillings.’ We hope to see great-grandkids.”
Published on: Sunday, November 21, 2021
Campaign Theme: Student Success
Tags: Biology, Basketball