How often do I say time flies? I would almost have to say every day. Especially when it pertains to professional basketball players, I am constantly using that term. When you have covered and had dealings with thousands and thousands of players in a 20 year span, names do pop up every now and then, where the saying time has flown by is the only logical thing. A good place for me to relive the good old days is on my Facebook feed. How often do I see some player post something where all you can wonder is where has time gone. It is always fascinating to see what ex players do after their playing days. Just last season ex Oregon (NCAA) great Bryce Taylor worked for the Indiana Pacers while BBL legend Derrick Allen who was a real basketball ballerina in his day has taken on a job with NBA team Washington Wizards. But there are also other examples where one is just amazed where a player’s journey can take them. The other day I saw a post by Dylan Travis (190-G-1993, college: FSC). The name rang a bell pretty quick for me. I remember interviewing him once or twice, it was actually twice. Then I did some research checking out his eurobasket profile and remember he played his rookie season in Germany in 2016-2017 with Cuxhaven. He had a solid Regionalliga season, but none where he could of realistically had chances of having a long career overseas. After 2 more stints in Australia, he was out of basketball overseas in 2019. But he remained busy in the last 3 years and now suddenly he is a big time 3×3 player. He was recently named as a member of the 3×3 USA national team that will battle at the Americup looking for a ticket to the next Olympics. What is even more fascinating is with whom he is teammates with. He is teammates with Canyon Barry the youngest son of NBA legend Rick Barry and sniper Jimmer Fredette who played in the NBA and averaged 37,0ppg in a season in China. He went back home in 2018 and suddenly his life took another path. ‘I went back to school in America and finished my degree. I enjoy working at Westside High School and coaching currently while staying in shape to play on the Pro 3×3 circuit. It is a crazy grind with working out before work and then again at night but I have to in order to keep my body in shape’,stressed Dylan Travis. he American has come a long way going from the German Regionalliga to being a USA national team 3×3 player.
Despite having a total new life now, the guard who listed Lebron, Russel Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and Ricky Rubio on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore in 2017 has fond memories of his days in Germany. His days were limited as he played only 1 full season with Rot-Weiss Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 14.9ppg, 5.4rpg, 2.9apg, 2.2spg, FGP: 52.0%, 3PT: 40.2%, FT: 70.5%. The Regionalliga has little glamour, but sometimes it’s the special connection you make with people that makes the experience so much more enriching. ‘Germany is a beautiful country with welcoming people. I will never forget the fans in Cuxhaven, they are still my friends to this day. Winning the league championship and promotion made it a memorable first year’, remembered Dylan Travis. Often after a solid Regionalliga season, guys play another year in that league to up their stats or get fortunate and make the next step up the ranks. For the American who spent time at Midland (NAIA), he was able to reach the Pro B the next season with the ScanPlus Baskets, but that stay was surprisingly brief. ‘I remember hitting a game winning shot vs a Pro A team and getting sent home the next day. But it is a business, I hurt my hamstring before that and was just getting back to full speed. They wanted to bring in an American big so they released me. No hard feelings and it fueled me towards a great two years in Australia’, stressed Dylan Travis. After having ups and downs in Germany, the Omaha, Nebraska native trekked to Australia and played for 2 teams named the Western Port Steelers (Australia-Big V D1) averaging 30.5ppg, 9.3rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 39.7%, FT: 77.3% and with the Waverley Falcons (Australia-NBL1) averaging 20.2ppg, 6.5rpg, 5.5apg, 2.3spg, FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 75.6%. He proved in 2 separate leagues that he was a lethal scorer. ‘I finally was able to play my game. I felt comfortable and confident. Coach Luke and Coach Elias let me be the playmaker. Australia is amazing, I really enjoyed living there’, expressed Dylan Travis.
But as was so often the case, Covid came and changed the world. Lives were changed and for so many professional players it wasn’t any different. Many guys stopped playing while others sat out a season and many more had their careers changed in certain ways. ‘Some things happened in my personal life and then COVID shut down the 2020 season so I decided to stop playing overseas and finish my degree in college. Then a 3×3 manager invited me to play in a tournament and the rest is history. I have been doing that since 2020’, said Dylan Travis. Who knows where his career may have evolved to had Covid never reared it’s ugly head into everyone’s lives. Often guys play in Australia and tear up the league and come to Europe and have great careers like former NCAA 2 player Braydon Hobbs and that could have been an option for him. ‘I feel like after my last season in Australia I was on my way to land a good gig in Europe. Then COVID happened. I am blessed that 3×3 has come into my life so I can still travel and play professionally. My fondest moment was winning the league championship in Cuxhaven, that town and fans deserved that championship’, expressed Dylan Travis.
Even if it is difficult to comprehend, Covid in a way was a positive occurrence in his basketball journey. Even if it stopped his overseas run, it opened up a new door for him that he has taken on with open arms. Our team manager, Mike Wranovics moved to Omaha to start a team. He hit me up about playing. Covid prevented me from playing overseas but we were still able to train in Omaha for 3×3. We have a great team and are now just starting to break onto the scene internationally. The deciding factor was I could still travel and make money playing basketball without being gone for most of the year. I have a flexible job that allows me to be gone if I need extra days for international travel’, added Dylan Travis who really appreciates the game of Steph Curry. Obviously 3×3 is a totally different game than 5×5, and one doesn’t just become a 3×3 player overnight. The game isn’t for everyone, but he has found his true basketball calling. ‘I love the physicality and how much the game demands from a player. It is harder than 5v5. You have to be in better shape as there are no stops in play. A player must have good IQ, can play defense, shoot, dribble, and pass. I fit all of these so the game fits me well’, stressed Dylan Travis. One may think that the game is easier because of the half court scenario, but it isn’t. It demands so much out of a player. And it isn’t just about hanging around in the parking lot and letting the ball fly. ‘You need IQ, shooting ability, passing, defense, and physicality. The game goes to 21 by 1’s and 2’s. There is a 12 second shot clock and 10 minute game. It is grueling and takes a lot out of you because of how quick transition is and how much physicality you can get away with’, warned Dylan Travis. He demonstrated that he can be a very good 5×5 player, but he is also able to be lethal playing with less players. Versatility is something that he has always possessed. My game fits both. 3×3 is more fast paced and physical. It is tougher to score, always shooting off balance and on the move. Your cardio has to be in better shape’, stated Dylan Travis. The game is very tactical and knowing exactly how to move in little space is vital. ‘The game has really slowed down for me. We have learned the nuances of the 3×3 game. Knowing how to play Defense, the small slips and screening angles on offense’, said Dylan Travis.
The ex Florida Southern College (NCAA2) guard who believes there is nothing wrong with the Golden State Warriors players trash talking during games and flaunting their 4 rings is set for a massive challenge this week as he battles at the Americup in Miami, Florida. It is a very special time for him. ‘I am very excited to wear USA across my chest and help my country win a gold medal. This is the first step towards the Olympics in 2024. I am grateful for the opportunity to be selected, I am ready to get to training camp in Miami with the guys and coach Fran’,said Dylan Travis. He has overwhelming great company as he will be teammates with walking bucket and former NBA player Jimmer Fredette and NBA legend Rick Barry’s youngest son Canyon. Despite these big time names,he isn’t at all scared for the challenge, but believes 100% in his special basketball abilities. ‘I have put in a good body of work the past two seasons. If COVID didn’t stop my overseas career and I kept with 5v5 I believe I would be playing on a BBL team right now. They both are great players and I am excited to learn from each other. I have been overlooked a lot in my career, but I have always believed in myself and what I bring to the table. I can play on any stage’, warned Dylan Travis who believes a hidden strength in his game is rebounding. He was a senior in high school when Fredette was drafted at #10 in the NBA Draft, knows about the history of the Barry family and also has a fourth teammate in Kareem Maddox who like him had a short overseas career. ‘Jimmer was a national sensation when I was in high school. I definitely studied his game and learned from him. I looked up to him a lot so it is crazy that it has come full circle. I have played against Canyon on tour a couple of times but we don’t really know each other. So I’m excited to get to know all the guys on a personal level once we get to training camp. Chemistry is big. I know Kareem got into the 3×3 game a lot earlier than me and has been a household name in the sport. He has a great game, very versatile as a big. He will bring a wealth of knowledge to us and I am excited to battle with him’, commented Dylan Travis. The do it all type of guard who compares his game to a Nicolas Batum is ready for the challenge and be the player he has always been his whole career. ‘I am going to do what I do. Play hard, rebound, make plays, make shots, do the little things I have done my whole career. Starting or not starting it doesn’t matter in 3×3 because you sub every dead possession’, added Dylan Travis. It is no secret that USA in basketball is always expected to win a Gold Medal. You always have to have self-confidence and can’t feel the pressure. If not you can pack it in. ‘To me it is not pressure I am playing the game I love. I just need to trust my preparation,I am confident the four guys that the USA committee has selected can get the job done. We just need to iron some things out in training camp and build some chemistry’, warned Dylan Travis. It is always nice to hear that people you once had dealings with haven’t lost track of what you do. ‘I have been following your work and I hope all is well with you’, said Dylan Travis as we opened our interview. One thing is for sure, I definitely will be following his basketball work in the future. It isn’t every day that you can say, I interviewed a 3×3 Gold medalist.
Great article about Dylan! He should be proud of his accomplishments.