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Monday, August 10, 2020

Switzerland to Swish-city: Trevor Jasinsky’s basketball journey

Trevor Jasinsky dunks during a photo shoot in Carver Gym. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin

By Mitch Farley

Athletes are often praised for their performance, ability to win, passion and dedication to their sport. But the story of Trevor Jasinsky shows success on many fronts, and not all can be seen in a box score.

This is the junior forward’s fourth year with the team and first year as a co-captain. Jasinsky came to Western from Camas High School near Vancouver, Washington on a full-ride scholarship, and redshirted his first year with the team, giving him an extra year of playing eligibility for his college career.

When he arrived at Western, Jasinsky said the older players took him in and made him feel comfortable on the team. That’s a feeling he said he’s tried to pass on in recent years to players like senior guard and co-captain Tyler Payne.

“There’s nothing better than these kind of friendships; it’s another level,” Jasinsky said. “You can only play to understand it.”

Payne said Jasinsky helped him feel comfortable when he first joined the team. Payne remembers a day when they went to Buffalo Wild Wings and bonded over some wings and a game.

“That’s what allowed me to feel like I was coming into a family. He treated me like we’d known each other for five years,” Payne said.

Sports have a way of creating unbreakable bonds between people and fostering camaraderie. That’s something that the Vikings believe they have, and Jasinsky said it shows on the court.

Senior center Logan Schilder said outside of the gym, Jasinsky carries the same kind of intensity into his academics. Schilder said he’s seen Jasinsky branch out in the classroom and mature since his close friend and teammate, Daulton Hommes, transferred at the end of last year.

With his extra year of eligibility in mind, Jasinsky chose to pursue a double-major in marketing and management information systems. Jasinsky said he’d love to use this schooling to eventually pursue a career in marketing sports apparel as a way to stay close to the game.

But for the time being, Jasinsky says he’s content to play the game he loves.

Having been named co-captain this season, Jasinsky said he’s been comfortable stepping into a leadership role. He’s also become the team’s leading scorer this season, averaging a sturdy 19.6 points per game, second most in the conference. Although he’s been the box-score star with 392 points and 50 assists so far this season, Jasinsky doesn’t lose sight of the thing that matters most to him: the team and its success.

“I’ve never paid as much attention to individual stats. For me, it’s always been about the team…I don’t have a number I think I need to hit to set myself apart,” Jasinsky said. “I just feel, as a team, as long as we keep improving and playing good then the rest of the kinks and details will work out.”

Some of the “kinks” Jasinsky referred to, are his post-college basketball career options, which head coach Tony Dominguez said he has a good shot at pursuing. Jasinsky could potentially play basketball overseas, which would combine his desire to continue playing with his love of traveling abroad, a trait he says he acquired at a young age.

When Jasinsky was in sixth grade, he and his parents moved to Switzerland after his mother received a job offer there. His father, Jeff Jasinsky, said when they were deciding to make the leap, it was important to them to ask their son what he thought.

“He came home Friday after school and we said ‘We need an answer by Monday,’ and he immediately said ‘I’m going,’ just like that,” Jeff said. “So I admire how well he adapts to situations.”

Switzerland was where Jasinsky said he became interested in basketball for the first time. It’s also where he realized he wanted to use basketball to see the world.

“I loved living over there and when I started playing basketball, I saw it as my way to get back overseas later in life,” Jasinsky said.

Jasinsky said that environment is where his current mentality of working hard for what he wants was born. However, no road is traveled without adversity, and Jasinsky said he faced some roadblocks early in his career.

During his first year at Camas High School, Jasinsky said he suffered a stress fracture in one of the vertebrae in his back and was out for the whole season.

That setback was something Jasinsky said tested his patience with the game, though he preserved and ultimately overcame the injury. Eventually he returned to the court as a better player with the ambition to take his play to the highest possible level, he said.

Jasinsky is described by his coach and teammates in many ways. Dedicated. Determined. Friendly. However, there’s one descriptor that is always present: respectful. It’s a moral he credits to his parents.

“Something that [my parents] have always told me is if you give respect, you’ll get respect back. When I’m talking to the team I make sure they know that just because I’m named a captain, doesn’t make me any more important,”  Jasinsky said. “Everyone on this team has just as important of a role.”

The Vikings have a 5-5 in-conference record this season, which seats them in seventh place in the 11-team Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Despite what Jasinsky deemed a rough patch where the team dropped some games that they feel like they should have won, he’s confident moving forward.

“I’m extremely excited about the rest of the season,” Jasinsky said. “I feel like our best basketball is ahead of us.”

As Jasinsky and the team look forward to the rest of the season and beyond, he can take a sentiment from his father with him: “You have the power to be successful.”


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