With Midnight Madness a thing in the past, the Michigan State basketball season is less than a month away. In as little as three weeks, the Spartan basketball team will be tipping their season off against Connecticut on an Air Force base overseas in Germany.
One player who could play a part in the Spartans’ success this season is Michigan State sophomore Travis Trice.
Last year, the 6’0” guard from Huber Heights, Ohio, displayed a promising shooting touch as a freshman, appearing in 32 games averaging 4.5 points in 17 minutes a contest.
Today, as Trice laces up his basketball shoes and walks out onto the floor to practice with his teammates, it’s hard to imagine that just a couple months ago, it was hard for him to do even that.
Early this past summer, Trice woke one morning with a terrible headache. He didn’t know what it was or where it came from but whatever it was, it wouldn’t go away. Trice and members of the training staff tried countless headache medications but nothing would work and the headache continued to linger.
After a few days, they knew they had something serious on their hands when the virus began to spread to other parts of Trice’s body.
“I wasn’t hungry at all,” Trice said. “I’d wake up the morning and our trainer would tell me to go eat something but I told him I’m not hungry. Then It crept down to where it was in my legs like that feeling after you get done running and lifting and your legs are throbbing. I’d wake up in the morning and that was the feeling I had all day. That’s when I knew something was wrong and I had to go get checked out.”
For the next eight weeks, Trice was getting blood work constantly. Doctors poked and prodded him several times a week as they tried to figure out what was making him so sick.
“I hate needles,” Trice said. “I was going in at least two times a week so I got to know the staff over at the medical center real well.”
Along with the constant testing, Trice was held out of team practices and lifting. The only things the training staff wanted him to do was watch practice, sleep, and eat something if he was hungry.
Things went on like this for nearly two months as doctors never officially could figure out what it was, diagnosing the bug as either a virus or parasite. But then one day, to everyone’s surprise, somehow the virus had worked it’s way out of Trice’s system. Today, it remains a mystery to what the illness actually was and in the end, there was no remedy to what finally got rid of the sickness for Trice.
“It wasn’t medicine,” Trice said. “I’ll ask God when I meet him what it was or how he fixed it but he did something and he fixed it for me.”
At the end of the entire eight weeks of misery, the illness had robbed Trice of many things, including causing him lose 20 pounds, dropping his weight from 170 all the way down to 150. Ever since then, the young guard has been working hard to get back to where he wants to be and get back into the swing of things.
“I can’t afford to lose five pounds,” Trice said. “Where everybody else goes once, I’ve had to go twice. It’s been a battle to get back but it’s only going to make me a stronger person.”
However, Trice hasn’t been going through this recovery process alone. Along the way, he has had teammate and roommate Branden Dawson right by his side, who has been recovering and getting back from a torn ACL.
“When he was first coming back, I was still sick and by the time I could go full boat again was when he could start going full boat again,” Trice said. “We were both tired, out of shape and wounded and we were both going through it together so we were pushing each other.”
With the season opener less than a month away, both Trice and Dawson will continue to work hard to get back to where they want to be. They, along with the rest of their teammates, will be working toward a common goal as Michigan State will be needing everybody’s best for the Spartans to get back to the Final Four this year.