Positivity On Display From Gary Trent Jr.
Gary Trent Jr. (Apple Valley H.S./Burnsville, Minn.) is one of the most sought after prospects in the class of 2017. It’s not just his superb offensive abilities that makes him so attractive to perspective coaches. His ability to lead by example on the court is worth noting as well.
The gold medalist from last year’s USA Men’s U16 National Team understands he’s viewed as a leader on the floor and someone who can mentor the newcomers at the USA Basketball U17 World Championship Team training camp.
“I’m just trying to do anything I can to help,” Trent said. “Guys will come up to me during practice, and ask questions about certain situations within our offense.”
The 6-foot-5 guard is a vital resource for the members of the recently announced 12-man roster to bounce questions off of.
After trailing 23-3 early in the second quarter against Canada in last year’s FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal game, it seemed as though the USA had come upon an insurmountable task.
But behind Trent’s 19 points, all of which came in the second half, the USA rallied and eventually ran away with the gold medal game, 77-60. That performance sealed the deal for Trent to be awarded with with 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship Most Valuable Player recognition.
“Gary is a leader by example,” USA men’s U17 head coach Don Showalter said. “He does so many things well, but he does it because he holds himself and his teammates to such a high standard.”
Trent said the USA’s golden experience gave him confidence to be a leader within this USA U17 group.
“That game was a team effort, including guys like Wendell Carter and Jarred Vanderbilt, being able to make plays as well,” he said. “Canada jumped us at the start, but everyone came together, and it’s something we still talk about and try to learn from.”
During training camp for the USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team this week, a smile is always visible on Trent’s face.
“I try to be an energy-giver instead of an energy-taker,” Trent said. “When I’m talking to guys, I try to lighten the mood because I joke around with them and try to be funny.”
If you don’t believe him, take a look at this interview he did alongside his USA U16 and Apple Valley High School teammate Tre Jones (Apple Valley, Minn.).
The cliché term for a player like Trent is someone that is able to ‘flip the switch’. The son of former NBA journeyman, Gary Trent Sr., he has shown his potential teammates what he can do to make an impact for his team in more ways than one.
Head coach Don Showalter has a routine of to end practice for his teams. Every player and coach stands in a circle at midcourt and with hands connected. Everyone’s job is to look to either the person on his right or left and say two things: the person’s name and something you liked about his performance that day in practice.
What Trent has heard from his teammates thus far lets him know he is doing what is expected of him.
“When we huddle up in the circle after practice, guys say I’ve been a leader, and it means a lot to be able to help,” said Trent.
He is able to make his teammates laugh and he is a go-to guy to clarify in-game situations, further proving there are many ways that Trent can positively impact the game.