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Trenton Hassell
Position: Other
Other Position: Player: Men's Basketball

 Men’s Basketball
Inducted 2006

Only seven Austin Peay athletes have been honored by having their jerseys retired. One of those is Trenton Hassell. That speaks of the greatness of the Austin Peay athletics legend. It doesn't speak of Hassell's perseverance, loyalty or the veracity of his word.  

Hassell saw his jersey (No. 44) retired Jan. 10, 2002, after a distinguished Governors basketball career. It was a basketball career that could have occurred at almost any program in the country. However, when Hassell was being targeted by recruiters, he turned down offers to visit other schools because of his loyalty to his family and friends and the fondness he has for his hometown and its school.  

After a year's delay, Hassell commenced his terrific Austin Peay career in 1998-99 and was named Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year after averaging 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He also received the first of three consecutive first-team All-OVC selections. 

Overheard during that first 1998-99 season was a fellow student asking Hassell, who many believed would be lured by the professional basketball dollars, "How long are you going to stay (at APSU)?" Hassell quickly responded, "I am here until I graduate." 

He was true to his word. In fact, the 6-foot-5 forward/guard was even better his second season, averaging 18.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game and was named first-team National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District as well as All-OVC. 

And as good as Hassell was his first two APSU seasons, he was greater in 2000-01. He was named Playboy Preseason All-America and featured in the 2000-01 Sports Illustrated's Preseason Basketball issue, a springboard to a campaign that capped a superb career. 

It started when he was voted MVP of the Top of The World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, for leading the Govs to the championship. That resulted in his being named ESPN/ESPN.com National Player of the Week. Later, ESPN The Magazine featured a short story on Hassell.   

It ended with him earning OVC "Player of the Year" honors and his third straight first-team All-OVC selection after averaging 21.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. For a second straight year, Hassell was the only player in the nation to be ranked in his respective conference's top five in scoring, rebounding and assists. His 21.7 points per game ranked 13th nationally. He was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District team for a second straight time and was chosen Tennessee Sportswriters Association College Basketball Player of the Year.  

But the awards didn't end there. Hassell was selected as APSU's Outstanding Male Athlete for a second straight year and was the 2000-01 Joy Award recipient as the most valuable senior athlete. Later he joined Bubba Wells as APSU's only OVC "Male Athlete of the Year" recipients.   

For his three-season career, Hassell ranked sixth all-time in scoring with 1,626 points in three seasons. He averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game overall.  

A non-qualifier out of Clarksville High School, Hassell graduated in May 2001 with a bachelor's degree in health and human performance. He was one of two athletes in the 2001 NBA draft to earn an undergraduate degree. In fact, when the Chicago Bulls drafted Hassell with the first pick of the second round (30th overall selection), he became the highest drafted Gov in history.  

After playing two seasons with the Bulls, earning the club's MVP and Rookie of the Year Award in 2002, he signed as a free agent with Minnesota in the 2003-04 season. He has gained a reputation as one of the NBA's top defensive performers as a Timberwolves starter and earned a six-year contract following the 2003-04 season. Currently, he is enjoying his finest season as a professional with the Dallas Mavericks.

He and wife Tiffany, a former Lady Govs basketball player, are the parents of son, Baliey.

 

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