The image is an impressive one: Woods Cross (Utah) shooter Trevin Knell, kneeling among his high school teammates, all pointing to empty ring fingers (waiting for a piece of state title bling), and all wearing Cal t-shirts. Ever since his unofficial visit on the final weekend of August, the thought that he would commit to the Bears rattled around in Knell's head.
http://www.scout.com/college/basketball/recruiting/story/1713817-trevin-... "The relationship with the coaches played a huge role in my decision, and I felt like the tape they showed me also played a huge role," Knell said, referencing the tape shown to him on his unofficial visit, featuring highlights of Jabari Bird and Sam Singer. "The way they play in transition, they move the ball up the floor really well, and the way I play, I run the floor really well and I spot up. The guys are really unselfish, and that's motivation for me. The type of players they bring in (Jemarl Baker and Juhwan Harris-Dyson), they're all high fliers, they're really athletic, really versatile players, and they will help me in every way to get my shots, and I will help them get their shots, because there will be a guy on me at all times, because I feel like I can shoot anywhere on the floor, and I can impact the game.
"I saw I could make an impact, take the game to a whole new level. The players that they're bringing in are tremendous, and they can help me get better, not only as a player, but as a person. I just feel like the coaches are willing to push me to my full potential, and help me reach my ultimate goals. That's ultimately why I chose Cal. It's the best fit for me, and the best way I can help prolong my career."
That ultimate goal used to be simply playing college basketball. Now, it's different.
"Now that that milestone is hopefully going to be completed in a couple years, once I finish my LDS mission, I hope to play at the next level after college, to ultimately become a pro," Knell said.
Over the past month, Knell said, he didn't take another visit. He tried to see which schools would merit one.
"Going through the process meant making sure I don't need to take any other visits, or visit many other schools, and once I went to Cal, they blew me away," Knell said. "They even said I should take other visits, because no one will match them. I felt like I had good relationships with a couple other schools, so I wanted to make sure that I paid them respect for recruiting me all these years, but ultimately, I was really sound with Cal."
During his visit to Berkeley, what struck him, beyond the basketball, was the school itself, with perhaps the biggest humble brag possible.
"Education is huge for me. First, we went around the campus on my visit, and they brought me by a lot of amazing buildings, and brought me by some parking stalls, which said, 'Nobel Prize Winner,'" Knell said. "They told me about all these crazy things that alumi have won, at the school, so I was pretty surprised by that, and they said how the alumni here were amazing, and getting a degree from Cal will catapult me in life, in every way possible."
A 4.0-GPA student, that message resonated with Knell.
When he finally made his decision -- this past weekend -- he wanted to take a few days to tell his high school teammates. Every one of them.
"I was planning on committing on Oct. 1, just to start off Fall that way, but I called coach Martin on Sunday night, and we just prolonged it a little bit," Knell said. "I wanted my teammates to know before I tweeted it out, because they've been with me for so long, so I wanted to surprise them and tell them in person before I committed over social media and everything. That's the ultimate reason why I waited a little bit longer."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1713816-trevin-knell-commi... and Woods Cross have started working in open gym, and will start practice in two weeks. He's still getting in his 500 three-point shots per day, he said.
In the next month, Knell will begin to put in his paperwork for his LDS mission, and where he wants to be sent, and will get it back around the end of basketball season, when he will know his destination. He will sign a National Letter of Intent on Nov. 9, and then another in a year, and a third a year from that -- the final two being signed during his mission.
"I sign every year until I'm actually on campus," Knell chuckled.
Cuonzo Martin's confidence in Knell, and in his mission, and his faith, as well, was a large part of why Knell decided to commit to Cal.
"It played a huge role," Knell said. "A lot of schools didn't recruit me, or didn't offer me because I'm a mission kid, like Butler and Oklahoma. They were all really interested in me, but they decided to pass, because they weren't comfortable with the mission, and coach Martin, right when I talked to him about it, he was on board right away. He encouraged me to go, and he says it's a huge character building thing. He saw the positive aspects of it, which played a tremendous role in why I committed.
"He always said it's a two-way street, a two-way relationship, so he can't be the only one texting me, and I can't be the only one texting him, to see what he's up to. We got to the point, these last couple weeks, where he'll call me, and the next time, I'll be calling him. It's definitely a two-way relationship, which plays a huge role. It's been a relief to him. I committed to him, because he talked about how he now has a piece in his puzzle set, and how he has an elite shooter, so he won't be really recruiting another elite shooter until I'm a junior or a senior, where I can teach that kid, also. He has tremendous faith in me, what I'm going to be doing on my mission, so that's super pleasing, and I'm super excited about it, and the relationship we have with each other."
Over two years on the road -- whether domestically or abroad -- Knell will have to find a way not to just get his shots up, but to also stay in shape and lift weights.
"Ultimately, I will be waking up really early, when I leave on my mission, to get as much work as I can, and I will be walking around everywhere, so I feel like the fitness part won't be too bad," he Knell said. "That's definitely the route I'm going to take, and I'm already lifting a lot to get ready for the high school season, and get ready to go on my mission, so I'll have a good foundation."
Before he goes on his mission, he's planning on taking an official visit to Cal, at some point during the basketball season.
"They want me to come out to a basketball game to get the full effect," Knell said. "We're trying to figure that out. I'm extremely excited to come out and see the coaches in action, and all the players."