|3/25/2021 11:30:00 AM|
Trent Jones signs with pro basketball league team in Florida
To understand what lies ahead in the basketball career for former Dodgeville and Ripon College standout Trent Jones you have to understand The Basketball League.
The Basketball League, also known as TBL, is a growing professional league where players try out and those selected are paid to play. For some it is a stop on the way up while for others it is a stop on the way down. For others it is a place they will finish their career.
But most important for all of them, is that it is a place to play basketball.
One of the reasons Trent is going to give it a try is because of the passion shown by the franchises. He originally was scheduled to join the Tampa Bay Titans. That passion is shown day in and day out by the team's owner, Bassel Harfouch, who is also the team's leading scorer.
Owning the club has had its own set of problems. Harfouch once sold his car to help fund the franchise. And it was not just any old car. It was a Mercedes Benz.
"If this helps change the life even a little bit for someone on the team it is worth it," Harfouch says.
Harfouch who is 28 played four years in the pros which is an international organization for basketball worldwide.
Trent was placed with the Titans following a league combine held February 28, but a few days later he was traded to the Shreveport Mavericks. His agent, with the Potter Sports Group, was instrumental in getting him placed in the league with the plan going forward to obtain some film that can be used to get Trent a spot in the professionals G League or a spot on a pro team overseas. Trent was originally set to play overseas last year but his team was shut down due to COVID.
Shreveport was awarded the 34th market in the fourth year of the league.
The Mavericks are returning "home" after an incredible run that ended in 2015. The man heading the charge is the only coach in team history, Steve Tucker GM/Head Coach who can boast of a rather impressive list of accomplishments:
4 Time Pro Basketball National Champions
196-14 record over 7 Seasons
Back to Back Undefeated Champions (66-0 - 2014 & 2015)
103 Consecutive Wins (from 2011 to 2016)
104 Straight Home Wins (from 2011 to 2016)
"I am excited to be a part of bringing pro basketball back to Shreveport. Having spent my entire adult life as a coach, I can with great confidence say that this market supports pro basketball like none other. We have every intention of bringing an entertaining, championship level brand of ball back home to Shreveport where it belongs. Additionally we will be visible and active in the community impacting young lives to the best of our abilities," said Tucker.
Shreveport-Bossier Metro has Produced some of the Greatest Talent in Louisiana Basketball History and Many of these Talents are part of the Shreveport Franchise Ownership Group.
"We are thrilled to be able to add Shreveport as one of the last pieces to the puzzle for next season. Geographically it fits perfect with our southwest division and the history of this great team with a winning coach and passion for community is exactly the fit we look for," said Evelyn Magley CEO of TBL.
Trent, who scored around 1200 points at Dodgeville and around 1300 at Ripon, is a 6-4 guard. As a member of the Mavericks Trent will receive a salary and have his housing paid for. His salary is still under negotiation as he awaits his contract.
Trent is no secret to the league as he was one of the top performers at the combine which put him on several team's radar. Shreveport had wanted him from the start.
After a stint in a training camp that starts March 21 he will take part in a 34 game regular season that starts in April and continues through playoffs.
Teams in the league are made up of many players with G League and overseas experience. The 35 teams are quite a difference from the 8-10 teams in the league when it began five years ago.
"Competition should be very good," says Trent.
COVID has made it tough for Trent to get in his basketball gym time. He has been able to do weight training at facilities but he has had to go to Wausau to get in his shooting at an old Catholic Elementary School which was arranged by his agent.
Why is he doing all this?
"I want to keep on playing basketball," he said.
"I think this will be a big step forward," Trent added. "From D3 to getting film, to playing in Florida to maybe getting on a pro team here or overseas is quite a next step and I want to take it."
He is also looking forward to the warm weather in the southern part of the nation and a chance to work on his golf game when not playing basketball.
But most of all he is looking forward to what he feels is a great opportunity.
"Hopefully this will help me get my foot in the door," Trent said. "I think this will be a solid start and I'm excited."
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