April 18, 2016
WASHINGTON - Former Georgetown University men’s basketball Jabril Trawick (C’15) saw his life take him from his native Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. and then, for the last year, to South Dakota.
It wasn’t a road the former Hoya captain expected, but it’s one he took with open arms. And on Sunday, he scored 15 points in 21 minutes as his Sioux Falls Skyforce team beat the Canton (Ohio) Charge in the Eastern Conference Finals of the National Basketball Developmental League playoffs.
Trawick and his Skyforce teammates, including former Georgetown player Greg Whittington, await the winner of the Western Conference finals (between Los Angeles and Austin).
Trawick averaged 9.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists during the regular season, when he played in 47 games and started five times.
“It’s been really good for me, especially for what I’m out here for,” he said over the phone. “First they have really great facilities and a great team and coaching staff. It was perfect for me. The basketball stuff was all top of the line and it’s been a great experience.”
Moving so far away from home was a challenge, but Trawick said the fan support in Sioux Falls helped to ease that transition. “All of our games have had great crowds,” he said. “The people out here really support the Skyforce. They come out for all of our games, no matter what day or times.”
He moved into the starting lineup in the playoffs – the Skyforce (an affiliate of the Miami Heat) have won two best-of-three series, first against the Westchester (N.Y.) Knicks, and then against Canton – and is averaging 9.5 points while shooting 59.1 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from 3-point land.
“I didn’t play as much at the beginning of the season, but Coach threw me in one game and I responded with like 15 or 16 points and it was a turning point,” Trawick said. “One of the things I’ve learned as a professional is they say you always have to be ready and after that point, it transcended.”
After helping to lead Georgetown to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, Trawick explored several options for his basketball career, including going overseas, but ultimately decided the opportunity to stay in the United States and nearer home was the best option.
“It wasn’t about the money for me,” he said. “I could have made more money going overseas, but for my first year, I wanted to be closer to home and I think this can help my resume down the road. I wanted to show a lot of teams that I worked out for (last summer) what I could do. I was able to adjust well and was able to learn and play at multiple positions, I’m versatile and I can defend.”
Trawick said that he has carried the lessons he learned at Georgetown to his professional career too.
“I couldn’t ask for a better situation right now,” he said. “We’re having a lot of fun, which is most important, and we’re winning. But coming from Georgetown helped me move on to this level. I knew a lot about the game so my transition from college to the pro system was easier. And then, just what they taught me about professionalism and being reliable, I brought that with me. What I learned from Coach Thompson will be a big influence on me for the rest of my life.”