Hard work, discipline pay off for DeLaSalle’s Reid Travis

| Jennifer Janikula for The Catholic Spirit | March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
Senior forward Reid Travis of DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis signals a three-peat as the Islanders defeated Austin 60-40 March 15 to capture their third consecutive Class 3A title. Travis, who is headed to Stanford in the fall, played on all three state-championship teams. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Senior forward Reid Travis of DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis signals a three-peat as the Islanders defeated Austin 60-40 March 15 to capture their third consecutive Class 3A title. Travis, who is headed to Stanford in the fall, played on all three state-championship teams. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Reid Travis rolls out of bed at 4:30 a.m. on a typical day during the DeLaSalle High School basketball season. He lifts weights before his 6 a.m. team practice. Then, the 6-foot-8, 240 pound forward devours two full breakfasts in the school cafeteria before class.

After school, he completes a second basketball practice session with his dad, eats dinner, finishes homework and sleeps until the cycle repeats.

“I hate it when talent or skill is not put to use,” Travis said. “I’d hate to look back and see that I wasted a gift, whether in sports or in school. I’d rather put in the time now and reap the benefits later rather than take the easy route.”

The payoff

In the last few weeks, Travis accepted a full ride to Stanford University, celebrated a Class 3A state championship three-peat with his DeLaSalle teammates and became a member of the 2014 McDonald’s All American Team.

The latter honor solidifies Travis’ position as one of this year’s top 24 U.S. college basketball recruits and places him in the company of former McDonald’s All Americans Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.

Faith and guidance

Despite all the hoopla, Travis remains humble, grateful and excited about new challenges.

Monica Kocourek, Travis’ Advanced Placement calculus teacher, explained how DeLaSalle’s culture keeps students grounded.

“Even our star athletes are down to earth,” Kocourek said. “The community brings that about?—everyone is important and everyone is valued. Our differences are accepted and celebrated because we are all created in God’s image.”

Kocourek said Travis shows equal commitment to academics and sports.

“He doesn’t use his athletic status as a crutch,” Kocourek said. “It’s important for him to do well, and he shoots high.”

At DeLaSalle, Travis serves as an “ambassador” for prospective students.

Travis, who attends St. Lawrence parish in Minneapolis where he has served as an usher, acknowledged that prayer helped him with the pressure of being a top college recruit.

“I was wrestling with three choices,” Travis recalled. “I didn’t pray for a direct answer; I prayed for guidance. I prayed for strength and a level head to make the best choice.”

Travis readily offers gratitude to his family, school and church support systems.

“I am blessed to be surrounded?—everyone helped in some way to be part of my success,” Travis said.

A promising future

Aside from playing basketball at Stanford, Travis plans to study business and entrepreneurship.

“I want to keep growing, build my network, meet people that can influence my life, and find ways I can influence others,” Travis said.

The McDonald’s All American Games, which benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities, will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. April 2.

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