April 1st, 2015. Findlay Prep guard Allonzo Trier suits up for the McDonald’s All-American Boys Game in Chicago. He was named to the 2015 USA Today All-USA Second Team that year, elevating his recruitment stock to five-star status after an outstanding 2014 for Montrose Christian Academy in Rockville, Maryland. Trier chose the University of Arizona, having a stellar freshman season for the Wildcats. He decided to return to school for his sophomore year.
Then, Trier was in a car accident before that season began. He was given a drug to help with his recovery. That substance resulted in him getting suspended for the first 19 games of that season, until the NCAA’s investigation cleared him of willingly taking performance-enhancing drugs. He proved to have gotten better as a player, increasing his scoring totals and earning second-team all-conference honors in the PAC-12. His junior season was going great until that substance from the previous year resurfaced and Trier was ruled ineligible after February 22, 2018. This indefinite suspension stripped the 6’4″ guard of all he had achieved as a high school player, and now his professional future was in doubt.
Trier was not drafted, but he earned a spot on the New York Knicks’ Summer League roster. He played so well that he has earned a two-way contract with the Knicks and its G-League affiliate in Westchester. Trier has been on the main roster since the beginning of the year and played his way into a key role in the rotation.
There will be times in life where we have our clout and accolades discounted or even taken away from us. Trier went from a five-star recruit, to undrafted long shot, to key rotational player on an NBA roster in less than four years. Life is a series of gambles due to the unknown, and Trier has an ideal we all need: to bet on yourself.
This ideal shows up in the way he plays. His Twitter moniker, @ISO_ZO, is fitting. While there is a pleasing aesthetic to passing and team basketball, there is also a gorgeousness to the one-on-one aspects where Trier shines. Rising Knicks-loving podcast and social media presence The Knicks Wall sums it up perfectly with this November 28th tweet:
Trier plays basketball so beautifully
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) November 28, 2018
Rookies can be sped up, overwhelmed and made uncomfortable because the NBA’s on-court speed and pace take a while to adjust to as a player. While Trier is certainly not perfect or devoid of making mistakes, there seems to always be a purpose to everything he does. As much as basketball is impulsive and reactionary, it is just as essential for a player to visualize where he or she wants to be on the floor and not be thwarted from whatever the best route is to that destination. That determination can result in stubborn possessions, at times. But for someone who’s had the setbacks that Trier has had while still achieving his dream, that stubbornness results in more good things than bad.
Isolation is not self-centered. It is centered around self, and the belief in the achievement of the individual self. Trier operates best in isolation because of this belief, and it has provided a foundation to what looks to be a promising NBA career. Regardless of his path, Trier will always be betting on himself.
Poemer. 8-time Hug Champion. Pick&Roll Enthusiast. Guardian of Logic and Tact. Apocalypse’s good Brother. Collector of muted souls for Mt. Filtermanjaro.
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