Travis Betran may have started playing basketball late in life, but that doesn’t stop him from scoring big in the OVC.
Adopted at age four by his Aunt in Harlem, New York, Betran’s story is different than that of most college basketball players; he didn’t start playing until the 10th grade.
“Beginner’s luck” he called his sophomore season, but after that breakout year he was invited to a Five-Star camp in Philadelphia which landed him a scholarship with Covenant Christian Ministries Academy in Atlanta where he played out the rest of his high school career.
Betran wasn’t even sure he was headed to college until a Junior College recruiter saw him in a pickup game, and found him a school. A few days later, Betran committed to Kilgore College.
He led Kilgore in scoring his freshman and sophomore years. Suddenly, several major schools were recruiting him, but Austin Peay fit in best with his situation, and so he committed to play for the Govs.
Betran was behind the Eight-ball in his basketball career, he was facing opponents who had been playing the game for their entire lives. He made up for it by working harder than everyone else, often putting in time improving his game in the wee hours of the morning.
It was this kind of dedication that helped Betran lead the Govs in scoring last season, even making the OVC All-Newcomer team. He averaged 17.2 ppg, and he was who Austin Peay turned to when they needed a basket.
When asked how being demanded on to score affected him and the team, Betran said Thursday “It took a lot of pressure off of everybody else, I don’t mind being the scorer, but I would like to have help scoring.”
Being a Senior and the team’s leading scorer from last season, Betran has found himself in a leadership role alongside his teammates, but he doesn’t see himself as The Leader of this team.
Entering this upcoming season, that leadership will be needed from Betran as the team tries to improve upon last year and implement a new, tougher basketball philosophy. He sees this as a great opportunity, and understands how an improved defense will not only help his teammates, but also himself.
On how the team would integrate into this new team mindset, Betran said “I think we’ll fit in well, we brought a lot of defenders in” and it is those changes which have him excited for the upcoming season.
Betran cited new additions like guards Demarious Smith and Zavion Williams as important pieces entering the new season. “I think we’ve got a better team this year. That can help me out with everything” said Betran, and headed into this year, Travis is nothing if not optimistic.