Family Legacy Is USA Basketball Legacy
When asked why he wears the No. 2 jersey for Apple Valley High School (Apple Valley, Minn.), Gary Trent Jr. responded, “Because I am the second Gary Trent.”
And as such, he is determined to further continue the basketball legacy of the name by becoming the next Gary Trent to represent USA Basketball at a competition.
“It would be great to follow in his footsteps as the junior, “ said Trent Jr., whose father played on the 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival North Team that finished with a 4-0 record and won the gold medal. “It would mean everything in the world to me. It has been a dream of mine since I was little. If I make the team it would be a dream come true.”
Before attending the USA Men’s U16 National Team Training Camp, the 16-year-old asked his father, Gary Trent Sr., for advice.
“He told me little things of what I need to do,” Trent Jr. explained. “Like things that the coaches will be looking for. He said to come here, play hard, play good defense and make the right play, which is exactly what coach Don (Showalter) told us to do.”
The younger Trent traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his prep school and USA Men’s Junior National Team teammate, Tre Jones, whose brother Tyus Jones won gold medals playing for USA Basketball at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
“I never went to his trials but when they competed for U17 worlds in Lithuania,” Jones said. “I went out there. I got to see him win the gold medal there and when he was here last year for the U18 championship. I got to watch practices then.”
At the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, Tyus Jones dished out a tournament-best 5.6 assists a game. He followed that with a tournament third-best 5.4 assists a contest at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and again led the field at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship with 6.4 assists a game.
“It was a lot of fun watching him. I made it a goal then for myself to make it out here one day, and it happened.”
Tre Jones is training among 32 of the nation’s best high school boys basketball players, including the younger Trent for a spot on the 12-member 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team.
“It is a goal,” said Tre Jones. “My older brother did it, so I have to keep working hard, and not worry about anybody else to make it happen.”
Six-foot-7 Jaedon LeDee also has a goal to achieve something a family member once did.
LeDee’s cousin, Hall of Fame player Willis Reed, won gold as a member of the 1963 USA Pan American Games Team. He also played on the 1963 USA World Championship Team that finished in fourth place.
“Willis Reed is the biggest athlete in my family, everyone always compares me to him, compares my accomplishments to his,” said LeDee. “It would be nice to accomplish something like this like he did.
“It would be big time to continue the family legacy.”
These athletes will find out on May 30 if they competed well enough to advance as a finalist for the 2015 USA U16 National Team, which will compete in the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship June 20-24 in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.
Either way, just by being named to the 2015-16 USA Basketball Junior National Team, they have carried on their respective family’s legacy with USA Basketball. However, it would be even sweeter for them to bring home a gold medal from Argentina for the family trophy case.