Khem Xavier Birch was born in 1992 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has four brothers. Birch attended three different high schools: St. Thomas Aquinas (Russell, Ontario), The Winchendon School (Winchendon, MA) and Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, MA). In 2010, Birch earned a bronze medal as part of Canada's Under-18 junior national team at the 2010 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. Birch was named a McDonald's All-American in 2011. During his NBA career with the Magic, Birch took youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida on a holiday shopping spree in 2018. In 2019, Birch assisted in assembling 12,500 food packs for Second Harvest Food Bank to feed underprivileged youth. To learn more, follow Birch on Twitter (@Khem_Birch) and Instagram (@khembirch). Birch played for Pittsburgh in his freshman year (2011-12) before transferring to UNLV for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. The Montreal, Quebec native led the Mountain West Conference in both total blocks (124) and blocks per game (3.8) in the 2013-14 season. He was also third in the MWC in total defensive rebounds (206) in that year. The center was a key focal point for the Runnin' Rebels, finishing second on the team in scoring (11.5 PPG) and rebounding (10.2 RPG) in his junior season. With one year of eligibility remaining, Birch declared for the 2014 NBA Draft. He was not selected, but Birch signed with the Washington Wizards before the 2014 NBA Summer League.