SAVOY (WCIA) — After an nine-year stint overseas playing professionally, Trent Meacham is back home in Champaign using his experiences to give back to his community.
“Going overseas you get out of your comfort zone, you can’t help but grow,” Meacham said. “So for me, kind of a home body, went to school here and to get away from everybody, everything I knew. Basketball is basketball but off the court was totally different. Different languages, different cultures, different foods, different customs and at first it was kind of scary and different and foreign, obviously, but I learned to really appreciate a lot of that stuff. Both my wife and I, it was an incredible experience and I feel very blessed that I could continue to play the game that I grew up doing like this at camps and actually make a living and do that for a pretty long time.”
His pro career spanned multiple countries in Eurpoe. From Austria to Germany, he played in several countries, befores pending the majority of his career in France. The now 33-year old guard says his playing days might not be completely over, there’s a small possibility that he returns overseas this season. But if not, he’s more than happy to stay home and help the younger generation.
“Beyond basketball, I want to teach them life skills because I think sports is such a great avenue to build character,” Mecham said. “Unfortunately I think typically it doesn’t do that, whether it’s youth or collegiate or professional but I think has such potential to help people grow in their character development.”
Meacham is hosting his camp this week in Savory for kids in 2nd grade through 8th. He’s enlisted the help of other Champaign natives, including Michael Finke and Quin Nottingham.
“That’s what we told them at the beginning of camp was that we were in their shoes before and grew up in Champaign, went to the same middle schools, going to the same high schools they’re going to, Trent and me played at Illinois so it’s a cool experience as someone they can really look up to,” Finke said.