March 7, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils guard Trent Lockett (24) fouls Stanford Cardinal guard/forward Anthony Brown (3) during the first half in the first round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Wow. Who saw this coming?
I'll admit, I was stuck in traffic when I first saw the tweet "Trent Lockett gets release from ASU, looks to transfer" or something of the like. No reason was given (cursed constraints of 140 character communication), so immediately I thought to myself "Seriously?! Another transfer?!"
After all, three of your scholarship teammates have already left the program since the start of the new year. The news of each departure was greeted with various reactions, such as "ah well" to "good riddance" to "ouch, but we can manage".
But when it was your name that was the newest transfer? Disaster. How can Sun Devil basketball recover from losing it's best and most indispensable player?
Then I found out why you were leaving. And basketball didn't matter one damn bit.
I didn't think about your solid freshman year. I didn't think of your sophomore year, when, in a season that was supposed to be all about Ty Abbott's emergence, you emerged as one of the better players in the conference and an even better leader. I certainly didn't think of this past year when you took your game to a new level, scoring 13. points per game and grabbing a team-high 5.8 boards per game. I didn't think of the night-and-day difference in the team when you missed time due to injury.
No Trent, I thought about pain you must be feeling. I too have had a family member suddenly be stricken by a severe medical issue. However, they were just 15 minutes away, not 1,700 miles away. That has to be ridiculously difficult.
I then thought of how fortunate ASU was--in the event you do leave--to have you for three seasons. In the current college basketball climate, and with ASU's obscene transfer rate, your three years was a bit of an anomaly. But you made it count.
You went from bit player to second team All Pac-10 to the unquestioned face of the program. You were a model Sun Devil on and off the court. For that, Sun Devil Nation is grateful. And understanding.
Your situation illustrates the sometimes forgotten truth that there are things in life far more important than sports. It also clearly shows the type of young man you are, the type of person that not just Sun Devils can be proud of, but everyone can hold in high regard.
I wish you and your family nothing but the best. There are godawful and difficult times ahead, but with you there, that light at the end of the tunnel is surely bright.