Trent Meacham is a 29 year old 190cm guard from Champaign, Illinois that is playing his sixth professional season and first in Italy for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A). He started his basketball career in 2004 with Dayton (NCAA). He then finished at Illinois(NCAA) playing a total of 103 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.2ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 42.2%, 3Pts: 42.1%, FT: 84.5%. In 2009 he came to Europe and started his professional basketball career with WBC Kraftwerk Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga) playing EuroChallenge: 6 games: 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 91.7%; Austrian League: 37 games: 15.4ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.6apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT-2(45.0%), FT: 82.4%. In 2010-2011 he made the next step and went to BG Goettingen (Germany-1.Bundesliga) German League: 28 games: 11.3ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.9apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 81.3%; EuroCup: 14 games: 10.7ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-4(4.6apg), 1.1spg, FGP: 49.0%, 3PT: 26.8%, FT: 88.5%. In 2011-2012 he played for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA) playing 32 games: 9.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 3.2apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.7%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 86.5%. He played the last two seasons for JSF Nanterre (France-ProA) winning the league title in 2013 and cup in 2014 and last season played 30 games: 9.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 3.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 67.4%; Euroleague: 10 games: 8.7ppg, 2.6rpg, 4.1apg, FGP: 41.9%, 3PT: 31.3%; Eurocup: 8 games: 11.8ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.4apg, FGP: 52.6%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 80.0%. He spoke to German Hoops before the Euroleague game in Munich.
Trent thanks for talking to German Hoops. Your in Munich now preparing for the Euroleague game against FC Bayern Munich. How is it to be back in Germany a place where you played at the start of your professional career.
It’s always nice to be back in Germany. I have great memories from my time here, and there’s a sense of comfort in returning. I still follow the league closely, and it seems to be improving every year!
You have had a steady rise as a professional the last years. If someone had told you back in 2009-2010 when you played at WBC Kraftwerk Welsthat you would be playing Euroleague years later and be playing for a top team like EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A)what would you have said?
When I first arrived in Austria out of college, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had little knowledge of the European game or even which leagues were considered the best. I had just gotten married, and I was just happy to make a little money playing basketball and getting an opportunity to experience a different culture.
You are playing your first season for EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A). What has been the biggest adjustment for you coming from the France Pro A now playing in the (Italy-Serie A))
There’s always an adjustment going to a new club and new country. It’s something I was used to as last season was the only time I’d ever returned to the same club. I’m still learning what to expect here in Italy, but both leagues are very competitive. The biggest adjustment for me is learning how to impact the game and best help my team in fewer minutes than I’ve been used to.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy-Serie A) has a very talented roster and so far you have had only limited playing time. This seems to be a new experience for you? How tough has it been battling your way into the rotation?
This is definitely a new experience for me. Any competitor believes he should be out there and wants to play. My focus is on staying confident and ready and improving daily in practice. It’s a long season.
Milan has many very talented players. Marshon Brooks is a guy that is playing his first time in Europe after going the NBA and D-league route after playing at Providence. When you see him each day in practice, do you get a different perspective of how he is as a player after seeing on TV before that? Is he a guy that will be back in the NBA or do you think like many other players make a career in Europe?
Marshon is easily one of the most gifted scorers I’ve ever played with. And he is capable of doing that in any league in the world. I expect him to be back in the NBA at some point.
You will be playing against top German team FC Bayern Munich as your team is 0-2 and Munich is 1-1. What kind of game can we await and what will be key in getting the win?
This is a big match for both teams! It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a team like Munich. If we can control the tempo and play our style we’ll have a chance to win.
FC Bayern Munich is stacked with guys that you played against in 2010-2011 with BG Goettingen with guys like Bryce Taylor, Heiko Schaffartzik, Robin Benzing, Anton Gavel, Yassin Idbihi or John Byrant. When you look at that list what guy is most in your memories from that one season in the BBL?
It’s tough to single out one guy from that list, but I’ve always had great respect for Anton Gavel. He competes on both ends and just seems like a winner.
As a rookie you tore up the league in Austria with Wels being the second best three point shooter in the league and averaging 13.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 45.2%, FT: 91.7%, in Eurochallenge play. How important was head coach Raoul Korner now with Braunschweig help you make that step form the NCAA to the European level.
Coach Korner is a great coach and someone I still stay in touch with. He really knows the game, and he helped teach me what it takes to have success in Europe, especially in running a team as a point guard.
You then made the next step and played for BG Goettingen in Germany for head coach John Patrick. Patrick has been known to always finding steals from the NCAA. A year before you came he had reeled in Taylor Rochestie who has gone on to have a great career in europe. In your one season in Goettingen what did you learn to appreciate most about the coaching and personality of John Patrick?
I don’t know if there’s another coach who is able to find the right group of guys and get them to play for each other. He does an incredible job of finding unselfish and hard-working guys. I always expect his teams to over achieve and that’s because of the character of guys he brings in.
After your season in Germany, you moved on to France and played for Paris-Levallois (France-ProA). In that season your teammate Eric Chadfield led the league in scoring. He has been a scorer wherever he has been and in his season in Germany with Frankfurt nailed a buzzer beater against Ulm in the home opener in the 2006-2007 season. I am pretty sure he has never not met a basket that he didn´t like. Where does he rank up with pure scorers that you have had as teammates in Europe?
Eric has been such a good scorer because he can get buckets in multiple ways: 3’s, mid-range, post-up game, and get to the foul line. He was on fire nearly that entire season. I like to think I played a part in it!
You played the last two years with JSF Nanterre winning the league title in 2013 and cup last season. In the 2012-2013 season JSF Nanterre was the big surprise team winning it all. What was the secret to the success of the team? I guess that BG Goettingen connection with Oliver and Meacham helped.
We had great team chemistry, and we all really enjoyed each other. That allowed us to stay together and confident during the ups and downs of the season. Crazy to look back knowing our team goal was to stay in the league that year, and we ended up winning it! We also played our best basketball when it mattered most.
After keeping most of its players from the championship season, the club missed the playoffs, but won the cup. Was winning the cup the consolation for not reaching the playoffs?
Last season was full of ups and downs. We started off great in both France and Euroleague but really struggled mid-season. We ended the year playing great basketball and would’ve been dangerous in the playoffs. The Cup was still a great accomplishment to end the season with. Nanterre is a special place with great people. I’m grateful to be a part of some great moments there!
At Illinois you played together with Chester Frazier who only played two seasons as a professional and now is in the coaching ranks. Usually it’s the big name scorers that are remembered, but Frazier was a unique type of player the guy that did all the little things well especially on the defensive end. How special a teammate was he for you?
Chester is one of the all-time best teammates I’ve ever laced them up with. He just loved to compete. I’ve seen him dominate games without scoring. He loved to see other guys have success which is rare. He’ll be a big time head coach some day…I’m also going to throw my guy John Little in this category with Chester – never seen guys enjoy picking up the basketball 94 feet like them! Their energy and leadership made everyone better.
What do you remember from your practice duels with Kyle Bailey? Who won a one on one in practice?
Unfortunately Kyle was hurt for a large part of the season we were together, but he was another great teammate. And another guy who’ll be a great coach too. I don’t think we ever played one-on-one, but we competed every day. On another note, Kyle’s one the most brilliant guys I’ve ever known.
You are living in Milan which has that amazing cathedral and that intense Inter-AC soccer rivalry. What is your favorite spot to hang out in town?
Anywhere with my wife! The Duomo’s impressive, but we enjoy exploring other parts of the city too. The people are friendly and food is great!
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
“Fed Up” – it’s a documentary on what’s wrong with our diets (especially Americans). You’ll want to change how you eat after watching!
Thanks Trent for the chat.