By playing his way out of the shadows, Foss High School’s Dezmyn Trent has effectively arrived.
In a cast of glittering city high school basketball standouts, Trent has long been an afterthought. But given free rein as a senior, the do-everything option for the Falcons had a booming, breakout season.
He scored 618 points in the regular season to set a Foss single-season record (26.9 average). And he has scored from everywhere – the 3-point arc, driving to the bucket and on inside put-backs.
Trent had four 40-point games, and four 30-point outings. His big scoring games always seemed to come against the best opponents, or in the most tension-filled settings.
And his jaw-dropping offensive show was arguably the best in Pierce County since Isaiah Thomas roamed the halls at Curtis High School from 2004-06.
For the way he carried Foss during the regular season, and now in the Class 3A regional playoffs, Trent is The News Tribune’s 2012-13 All-Area boys basketball Player of the Year.
All seems well in Trent’s life. College programs such as Seattle University, Idaho, San Jose State and Boise State have offered him a full-ride scholarship. Washington, Gonzaga and Oregon State are monitoring the 6-foot-4 shooting guard regularly.
Trent says he has adopted a four-letter motto – H.W.P.O – to abide by daily.
“It stands for ‘Hard Work Pays Off,’ ” Trent said. “It’s something I made up for myself.”
He will also tell you that the Trent of now, and the Trent of a few years ago are two completely different people.
There was a time when Trent walked a solitary path. Organized basketball did not appeal to him. He was frustrated. He was angry. At any opportunity, he tried to pick a fight.
Playing football allowed him to release his inner rage. But basketball did not provide that same outlet.
“I went to the Al Davies Boys Club, where I played for the Tac City Hoopers,” Trent said. “In sixth grade, I had an attitude. I was always getting teed up (called for technical fouls). I was always pushing kids.”
He even turned to the Tacoma Boxing Club but lasted just a few months.
“When I went there, I was cocky. I knew how to fight on the street,” Trent said. “But (coach Tom Mustin) put me in the ring against a kid from my class. He beat me. I quit.”
After a few incidents during his ninth-grade season at Lincoln High School, and later that summer, his days with the Abes were over. He immediately reached out to coach Mike Cocke’ at Foss.
“I got a phone call the following Monday,” Cocke’ said. “The first thing I did was have a meeting with him and his sister (Latisha) in the cafeteria.
“I told him … he had extreme anger issues. And if it did not turn around, he would not only (never) be able to play basketball again, he could end up in jail.”
At that point, Cocke’ drew a line in the sand. If Trent wanted a second chance at Foss, he could never cross it.
“With me, he had a clean sheet,” Cocke’ said.
Then something remarkable happened – Trent began channeling his fury in more productive directions. When something irked him, it gave him fuel to take to the gymnasium for a personal workout.
“He was tested, too,” Cocke’ said. “There were times teammates came face-to-face with him (in anger), and he made the decision to walk away.”
Before this season, if Foss was going to make any noise in the 3A Narrows League, Trent not only had to continue to hold his temper in check, but he also had to grasp how to unconditionally trust and embrace his teammates.
Asking forward Olashawan Miller to join him at the Peoples Community Center in Hilltop for six-hour basketball sessions last summer was a big step in that direction.
“He had a lot of emptiness in his closet, and he feared getting close to people,” Cocke’ said. “He has matured past that now. He smiles and jokes with us. The trust thing is huge for him.”
These days, he displays a quiet enjoyment for basketball. He is neither expressive nor demonstrative when he plays.
“I’ve figured out how to use (my aggression),” Trent said, “in a good way.”
THE NEWS TRIBUNE’S 2012-13 ALL-AREA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
Guard, 6-1, junior
His cousin and fellow All-Area selection, Ahmaad Rorie, left for Lincoln in the offseason after a great two-year run. And even though Crisp is a natural point guard, he was asked to pick up more of the scoring load for the Warriors. After an early season lull, the SPSL 2A MVP has been nearly untouchable – 23.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. A dynamic playmaker, Crisp has led the Warriors to a 14-1 career playoff record in games in which he has played.
Forward, 6-7, senior
Some standouts just keep getting better. Fletcher, a Colorado signee, certainly falls in that category after his stellar season (21.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 4.5 apg; 61 percent FG shooting). The two-time All-Area selection has a keen feel for the game and unmatched effort. The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association’s 3A state player of the year just moved into ESPN.com’s top 100 senior prospects (No. 78).
Forward, 6-9, senior
Well-drilled and very skilled, no player in the area has Meikle’s overall range. He is the Lions’ best outside shooter – a skill he will certainly utilize at Gonzaga University. And out of necessity, he is the team’s best post player, too. The Narrows 4A player of the year (15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) has led Bellarmine Prep to a 36-4 league mark since becoming a starter midway through his sophomore season. He currently has 870 points for his career.
Guard, 5-7, senior
In the land of diminutive guards, this Vikings senior is the mightiest mite of them all. And since midseason, when Curtis made its move in claiming the SPSL South title, Robinson has been a lights-out shooter from the perimeter, raising his 3-point shooting percentage to 46.5. The all-SPSL performer led the team in scoring (15.1 ppg), and also directed this well-oiled Class 4A state contender at the point.
Guard, 6-2, junior
It doesn’t matter what the home address is, Rorie is still the smoothest basketball player in the South Sound. The 2012 All-Area Player of the Year sets the tempo – slow or fast. He rarely gets rattled. And he seemingly always makes the right decisions on a pass or shot. Rorie (21.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.0 rpg), a California commit, was selected to the all-Narrows 4A team – and will likely be a top-150 recruit nationally next season.
Player of the year: Dezmyn Trent, Foss
Coach of the year: Ryan Hansen, Auburn
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
DONAVEN DORSEY, Timberline, G, 6-6, junior
JORDAN JOHNSON, Lakes, F, 6-4, senior
BRAXTON TUCKER, Spanaway Lake, F, 6-5, senior
BRAD WALLACE, River Ridge, G, 5-11, senior
COLEMAN WOOTEN, Tahoma, F, 6-5, junior