In the second edition of “Westchester Way,” Ridiculous Upside will look back at Travis Trice’s time in Westchester and his post-Westchester career. In Westchester, Trice was a part of the franchise’s first playoff squad. In 60 games, he has dished the most assists, scored second most points, and is fifth in steals in franchise history. Since leaving Westchester, Trice has played in Australia with the Brisbane Bullets, Lebanon with Champville SC, and Wisconsin Herd.
Four years ago, Travis Trice wrapped up his collegiate career at Michigan State and was set to embark on his professional career. His first opportunity came with the Miami Heat in Summer League, but he would wind up starting his professional career in the Big Apple. He joined the Westchester Knicks and had impressive stints with the team.
An opportunity was all the then-22-year-old guard needed. He joined Westchester for the 2015-16 season and was a key cog in the team’s 28-win season that made the franchise’s first postseason appearance. Trice, along with the 2015-16 Westchester Knicks, helped make history and played a significant role in assisting the growth of the organization.
“It felt great. It’s an amazing staff from top to bottom,” Trice told Ridiculous Upside. “It felt good not only to start something, but kind of establish the things they’d already set in year one and trying to improve. They went from not making the playoffs in their first year to the second year the team making the playoffs, so it meant a lot.”
It had a significant meaning for the 6’2” guard who had an accomplished rookie season and played a role in turning around a team that lost 40 games during their inaugural season.
“It meant a lot, especially kind of breaking the mold,” Trice continued. “It was something we took pride in. I think it was their second season last year and we wanted to be the first team to make the playoffs and really wanted to make the championship. That was our goal, but it was something we definitely took a lot of pride in.”
Trice got his first taste of overseas experience in Australia when he joined Cairns Taipans for his second season. He had an impressive stint in the NBL, which saw him earn the club’s MVP honors. Trice returned to Westchester for a second stint and brought an improved perimeter game with him. In nine games, he averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 51.6 percent from beyond the arc.
April 1, 2017 turned out to be his last game as a Westchester Knick. He recorded 17 points, 10 assists— his 5th double-double with the team— along with five rebounds and two steals against the Long Island Nets.
In his time in Westchester, Trice dished the most assists (336), scored the second most points (938), grabbed the most fifth steals (74), and suited up in the ninth most games (60) in franchise history.
His tenure in Westchester meant a lot to him based off of the individual and team accomplishments Trice experienced. He elevated his game while with the team and saw the organization invested in his growth and development.
“It meant a lot. Just taking me in my rookie year and investing in me,” Trice said. Even coming back the third year after I been overseas and came back and played in some games. Just them giving me an opportunity to showcase what I worked on and things like that. I owe them a lot.”
During his time in Westchester, the coaching staff helped elevate his game and help prepare him for his professional career. Trice attributed the staff with showing him what a professional athlete was really about.
“They helped me a lot,” Trice said. “What they did in my first professional experience, Coach (Mike) Miller and our assistant coaches did a great job of just instilling day-to-day things of what a being a pro is really about. I had great teammates too, veteran guys that really helped me.”
The former Westchester guard returned to a familiar place. He returned to Australia for a second season. This time around, he joined the Brisbane Bullets. He nearly replicated his production with Brisbane, which saw him put up 15.5 points and 5.1 assists during his time the Bullets.
His next chapter of his professional career took him to Lebanon. Like his time in Australia, Trice came in with the same mentality and came out strong the moment he arrived with his new team. Heading into a new country, the 6’2” guard just took it a day at a time.
“Really just taking it a day at a time,” Trice said. “Trying to learn as much as I can. It was a different situation the way they play. Totally different styles in Australia and Lebanon compared to America. All of the coaches I had before prepared me for that.
Trice returned to the states to kick off his fourth season. He signed a training camp deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. He made a lasting impression in the organization and the team added him to their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, following a three-team trade with the Westchester Knicks and Capital City Go-Go.
Before Trice stepped foot on the floor of the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, he earned an opportunity that he thought would never be offered to him. He competed with the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team in September where the team went 2-0 and in November & December where the squad posted a 1-1 record.
It was a special moment for the Wisconsin Herd guard to compete with the the USA logo across his jersey. Along with that, he was able to soak up knowledge from Jeff Van Gundy.
“Definitely, especially for me, because I never really thought I would have an opportunity like that,” Trice said. “I was never really highly ranked, so that was never really a chance for me. So to get an opportunity to do that, I was extremely proud and happy.”
“I learned a lot from him. Just his preparation,” Trice continued. “That’s the thing about great coaches is their preparation and his attention to detail. There would be times at practices where one play would go wrong at the end, he could tell you the minor details of where everybody messed up throughout the whole play. I learned a lot in those two weeks.”
Trice entered a new role in his first season in Wisconsin. After being the 22-year-old rookie with Westchester alongside a veteran in Jimmer Fredette, who was 25 years old, Trice became one of the veterans on the 2018-19 Wisconsin Herd. The 25-year-old guard embraced his new role with the team.
“It’s weird because I still don’t even feel like I’m old,” Trice said. “But talking to some of these other guys in their first year and I’ve been out for a couple years now, so I’ve definitely embraced that role. It’s kind of helped me as far as being a better point guard and better leader talking to guys trying to share as much as I know with them.”
His drive to make the NBA keeps him motivated in his fourth season. Trice has played with superb organizations and coaching staffs throughout his career, which will help him get more prepared for when that opportunity arises. For Trice, that’s the ultimate goal and he will continue to improve his overall game every day while he’s with Wisconsin.