BYU's Trost: Off-court hero keeps perspective

March 20, 1993|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Whatever Gary Trost does today at the Rosemont Horizon against Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament, whatever the Brigham Young center does for the rest of his basketball career, pales in comparison to what he did on a mountain highway in Idaho last summer.

Trost, his wife, Sheri, and her brother were on their way to her family's home near Yellowstone National Park when they came upon a van that had run into a three-ton truck, went off the road and caught fire. "I thought it was kind of cool seeing a van on XTC fire," Trost recalled the other day, "until I saw a family of seven inside."

Within a few minutes, Trost and his brother-in-law had helped rescue all but one of the family members from the burning vehicle. With his wife, a registered nurse, administering first-aid, Trost went back to the van and finally knocked out a rear window, allowing the last person, a woman, to escape.

It wasn't the first time that Trost had played the role of hero. While on his Mormon mission in Dover, Del., three years ago, Trost was driving behind a car that ran into a flatbed truck after the truck had stopped short on Interstate 95.

Those incidents helped shape Trost's perspective on basketball. Not that the 6-9, 235-pound senior takes the game lightly: He finished this season as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer in the Western Athletic Conference.

"You appreciate it more," said Trost, who scored 23 points in BYU's 80-71 first-round victory over Southern Methodist. "It makes the losses seem a little more unimportant."

"If you can handle watching people losing limbs, this is kind ominute. I saw seven people whose lives were changed dramatically in an instant."

Trost had the unfortunate job of replacing Shawn Bradley, BYU's 7-6 Wunderkind who left after leading the nation in blocked shots.

"There was a lot of pressure to replace Shawn," said BYU coach Roger Reid.

"But Gary's carried us to two 25-win seasons."

Brown roars again

To those familiar with the statements made over the years by LSU coach Dale Brown, it didn't come as a shock that a man known for his post-game sermons caused quite a stir after his Tigers lost to Cal, 66-64, Thursday night.

Asked of the Bears' chances to beat Duke in today's second round, Brown said flatly, "They don't have a prayer to beat Duke."

Joked Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski: "That surprises me about Dale. Actually it shouldn't surprise me because he's usually talking about prayer."

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