Duke basketball alum crossed over into ‘The Twilight Zone’

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Now, bizarre parallels exist between a Duke basketball product and his dad.

Some feel-good father-son stories are a bit hokey. Not this one. No, the suddenly inexplicable similarities between former Duke basketball one-and-done shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. and his old man are just plain out of this world.

See, on Thursday, after playing 41 games for the Portland Trail Blazers in the third year of his NBA career, Trent landed with the Toronto Raptors (18-27) as part of a trade (Rodney Hood was also in the deal, meaning the two Blue Devils remain NBA teammates).

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What’s so strange about all that? Well, let’s now rewind in time to 1998, the year before Gary Trent Jr. was born.

After playing 41 games for the Trail Blazers in what was the third year of his own NBA career, Gary Trent Sr. wound up with the Raptors as part of a trade.

Yes, you did read that correctly. At the exact same point on their professional paths, namesake father and son went from the exact same place to the exact same destination.

All that alone is weird. But wait. That’s not all…

One more mystifying fact concerning the Duke basketball player’s pro career

When rounding to the nearest whole number, Gary Trent Jr. was averaging 10 points per game for his career at the time of the trade. And in 1997-98? Yup, you guessed it: Gary Trent Sr., a power forward who lasted nine years in the league, was averaging 10 points for his career at the time of his move to Toronto.

Speaking to the media on Friday before making his Raptors debut that night — he scored eight points, missing all five of his 3-point attempts, in 31 minutes during a loss to the Phoenix Suns — Gary Trent Jr. mentioned he and his pops are aware of their kindred timelines and whatnot.

Apparently, the younger Trent views the situation as pure fate:

“It’s surreal. It’s crazy. You can’t put it into words. When I [saw] the stat — my dad actually sent it to me — it was wild. It almost seems like it was written already, in a sense. It was destined to happen. It was supposed to happen. Man, it’s crazy, though.”

Fittingly, after wearing No. 2 as both a Duke basketball star and a Blazer, Gary Trent Jr. has now chosen to wear No. 33 as a Raptor, the exact same jersey number as Gary Trent Sr.

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Truly, this father-son story is like something out of The Twilight Zone.