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Kobey Ketavong Lam

Kobey Ketavong Lam is a professional basketball player from Ontario, Canada.  Kobey is believed to be the first male Lao person to start on an NCAA DI team and currently plays for the Bay Area Dragons of the East Asia Super League.

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The Lao "Kobe"Y

Its one thing to be named after a legend, but its another to actually live up to your namesake.  When it came time to name her son Davanh Ketavong named him after basketball player Kobe Bryant with the addition of a Y to round it out to five letters.  This was to match the number in his father’s name, Kwang, who has Chinese ancestry.   At around ten years old it became evident that young Kobey would tower over his Asian-Canadian family.  His mother had introduced him to a variety of sports but his height, namesake and love for basketball pulled him towards in that direction.  “He really enjoyed the game and the hustle so much that we decided to get him a trainer by the age of 12”, said Davanh.


Kobey caught the attention of scouts from Universities in the USA and scholarship offers started flowing in. He started his collegiate career at Williston State College in North Dakota where he started in 29 games and averaged 18.1 points per game shooting 46.1% from the field.  In 2020 Kobey transfer to the University of Denver where he became the first known male Lao person to start on a Division I basketball team.  The only other Lao people known to paly at the NCAA D1 level are female players Linda Sayavongchanh and Jazzy Anousinh. During his sophomore year he averaged 8.3 points per game and had team season bests in both steels and rebounds.  Kobey then transferred to the University of Charleston in West Virginia where he finished his college career.  


In 2022 the 6’ 3” guard became the first know Lao Canadian and one of three Lao people from the Americas along with Bobby Syvanthong and Jose Nouchanthavong to play professional basketball when he signed with the Bay Area Dragons of the East Asian Super League.  


Kobey was born in Toronto Canada and is the son of Kwang Lam and Davanh Ketavong. Davanh was born in Savannakhet, Laos, and was resettled in Canada during 1979 as a child.  

Kobey with his mother Davanh Ketavong

Kobey with his father Kwang Lam

About this Article

Information for this article came from interviews with Kobey's family. Photos are courtesy of Davanh Ketavong, the Bay Area Dragons and the University of Denver. A special thank you to Chris Smith of the University of Denver Athletic Communications Department.

Last Updated: October 05, 2022