Trent Lockett grinds out first year of pro career in D-League

Trent Lockett at the free throw line for the Reno Bighorns. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Not every player chasing a dream in professional basketball gets to start their career in the NBA. Reno Bighorns guard Trent Lockett is one of those players.

Lockett went unselected in last year’s draft, but caught the attention of the Sacramento Kings front office to earn a spot on their Summer League roster. The 23-year-old guard’s play led to a training camp deal with the Kings before he was cut prior to the start of the season.

After his release, Lockett had a tough decision to make. Continue to chase the dream in a more lucrative situation overseas or take lesser pay and stay within the Kings’ system through the Reno Bighorns? He chose the D-League and his experience has been challenging to say the least.

“I think (the) only way to describe it is it’s a process,” Lockett said recently of his first year as a professional basketball player. “It’s a grind in the D-League with the travel and the amount of games and stuff like that, and I’m a rookie, so (I’m) getting used to back-to-backs and stuff like that. But I definitely think I’ve grown from it and learned a tremendous amount.”

Lockett’s numbers in the D-League won’t blow anyone away. Through 37 games with the Bighorns, Lockett has averaged 10.2 points, five rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27.1 minutes a night. However, he’s not in Reno to show that he can be an explosive scorer or big-time presence. Instead, the rookie guard out of Marquette knows he must demonstrate that he’s capable of being a specialist at the next level.

As his first year of professional hoops nears an end, Lockett isn’t sure what the future holds.  He’ll likely chase another NBA contract in Summer League this July, but beyond that there are no guarantees. He still intends to continue his career – whether he does that in the states or overseas next season has yet to be determined.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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