COLORADO SPRINGS -- It's been a very busy few weeks for five-star Class of 2017 guard Gary Trent Jr. as the native of Minnesota has been playing in events all over the country.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard recently participated in the Pangos All-American Camp in California before heading to Colorado Springs to try out for the USA Basketball U17 team. Coming off of an MVP performance last summer with the USA U16 team to help the team win a gold medal, Trent is one of the players the program is counting on for this summer's World Championships in Spain.
So far during the tryouts, Trent has been one of the standouts as he's earned a spot as one of the 18 finalists for the 12-man roster.
"It's great. It means everything in the world. To be selected as one of the finalists with all of the talent that is here and all of the talent that is still here, it just makes me want to prove I belong," Trent said.
"I don't feel like I have to, but I want to [be a leader]. Me having the experience, knowing what it takes to win the gold medal, having some adversity, playing against some different styles of play. I want to help. I want to compete again."
While known as a prolific scorer, Trent tries to be versatile with all facets of his game at USA Basketball. During the week in Colorado Springs, Trent has been strong defending on the perimeter while also showing more as a passer.
"You have to stand out in many ways. You can't just be a scorer because everybody here can score," Trent said. "You have to do the little things. Diving for loose balls, picking it up on defense. They love defense here so you have to focus on it."
With so many elite prospects participating in the camp, it's also a reminder of what Trent needs to focus on to improve his game over the next few months.
"I need to work on everything. My shot, my dribbling. I need to work on my mindset. Everything. My all-around game. I'm not a finished product, I need to keep working," Trent said.
With the July live evaluation period coming up in a few weeks, it's an important time for rising seniors like Trent to know where recruiting stands. Many of the same schools remain involved for Trent and he recently took an unofficial visit to UCLA following Pangos All-American Camp.
"As of right now Ohio State, Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona. It's been pretty consistent," Trent said of the schools on him the most.
Duke remains actively involved with Trent and it's looking like they have a strong chance of cracking his final list. Right now, Trent said that he could cut his list to five or seven schools at some point around Peach Jam. The Blue Devils have hosted Trent before and been recruiting him for awhile now.
"Everything there is A1. Everything is top of the line. Everything is almost too good to be true in a sense," Trent said of Duke. "They prepare you for the next level and everything else."
When looking at future schools, Trent is looking for a program that provides him with the complete college experience that he is looking for. Although the goal is to try to reach the NBA at some point, Trent wants to get the most out of his time in school.
"How they can help me on the court and off the court. What is it like at the university, the campus life? Are kids walking around loud, is it a party school? Are they focused on their education? There's a lot of factors that come into play," Trent said.
"You can have some fun here and there. But I'm always trying to stay in the gym. You're there to get to the next level and get a career from that. You can't do that by partying. You need to train, sleep, eat right and have a great season."
After USA Basketball, Trent will play in the Nike Peach Jam with Howard Pulley, who went 14-2 in the regular season. In 16 games with Howard Pulley this spring, Trent averaged 22.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.