Ex-NBA tough guy Gary Trent now a “cultural intervention specialist” for kids

trent-portlandGary Trent, while still being in the NBA, used to say: “If I keep working hard, nothing can stop me”. Indeed, that’s what a lot of today’s NBA players need to realize, as hard work almost always pays off.

Trent achieved his bad dude status by banging in the paint, even at a listed 6-8, for several NBA and international teams between 1995 and 2007.

Trent spent his 9-year NBA career playing for Portland TrailBlazers, Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Trent averaged career best 16 ppg and 7.8 rpg for Dallas Mavericks in 98-99, and holds career averages of 8.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg in 19.5 minutes on the court.

He appeared in total of 506 NBA games (130 started).

Retired from the game, he’s now taken his formidable glare and still NBA-trim frame to Dayton’s Bluff Elementary in St. Paul, MN. Trent is working as a “cultural intervention specialist,” aiming to help children dealing with all manner of at-home or in-school complications at the low-end elementary school that features kids from ages five to 13, according to Yahoo.

Minnesota Star-Tribune reports that Trent can relate to his students on a personal level because he survived an unfathomable childhood that exposed him to death, drugs and crime in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. His father served time in federal prison for drug trafficking. His mother became addicted to drugs. His grandmother murdered her own son. His grandfather drank himself to death. Other family members were incarcerated. Trent briefly dropped out of high school as a freshman and began selling crack cocaine.

“It’s generational dysfunction,” he said. “It’s the people before you that don’t lay that groundwork properly for you to succeed in life. You think life is all about dysfunction and drama and just being ignorant to the world.”

Trent found a different path, determined to break that cycle.

He credits former coaches, teachers and teammates for saving his life. Now he wants to reciprocate that, though he never envisioned counseling as a second career.

It’s true that Trent was a member of the nascent days of that infamous Trail Blazers squad, pairing with Isaiah Rider and Rasheed Wallace in 1996-97 and part the next season before being traded in a package for Stoudamire in Feb. of 1998.

And though Trent was arrested on a (very, very serious and not to be taken lightly) domestic dispute charge in 1997, that is the extent of his NBA-era rap sheet, and it hardly contributed to Portland’s woes.

Trent went on to credit his high school coach in a suburb of Columbus, OH for helping him work his way out of the fears and burdens placed on him by a rough upbringing.


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